Seismic resistant tower all wrapped up

Resistant to seismic activity, the Wrapper Tower in Los Angeles, with its forecast longevity and carbon footprint, has been completed following a decades-long odyssey.

The 72-metre building has a structural steel and externalised core that allows floorplans to be column-free. This also gives it a US earthquake-resistance rating five times the conventional seismic criteria, according to Eric Owen Moss Architects that had planned it for decades.

So sure of the building’s safety, Eric Owen Moss told Dezeen, “if there’s an earthquake on Wednesday … on Thursday, you can come back to work”.

Structural steel wrapping connects to isolators below ground level to make the building resistant to seismic activity. The external staircase matches the steel wrapping.

The T-shaped tower clad with fireproof cementitious plaster has a mix of glass and steel support structures that extend out from I beams in the internal plates, across the façade and down to the isolators.

Despite the heavy use of carbon-intensive materials, its architect believes the building’s longevity will contribute to its carbon footprint long-term. “This is not a building that will have to be redone or rebuilt,” Eric Owen Moss emphasised.

Wrapper Tower is the first of three towers planned for the LA project known as The New City. The second and third towers have already been approved by the local council, but construction dates are not yet fixed.

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.