From the Top

Inside the Wilshire Grand Center, L.A.’s First Skyscraper With a Domed Roof

Design By Photo by Eric Adams
From Issue Three of the Gear Patrol Magazine.
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Downtown Los Angeles is a city of flat-tops — helicopter pads mandated for emergencies, but rarely used. A.C. Martin, the design firm behind the new Wilshire Grand Center, opted for a different plan: an evacuation stairwell and a waiver from the city. That exception birthed L.A.’s first skyscraper with a domed roof.

Echoing Yosemite’s Half Dome, the soaring rooftop structure complements a plummeting atrium ceiling 1,000 feet below, which is modeled after the Merced River. The final 1,100-foot, 73-story tower, complete with walls of programmable LED panels, brings together the natural beauty of California with the glittery spectacle of Tinseltown.


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A version of this story appears in Issue Three of the Gear Patrol Magazine, 320 pages of stories, reports, interviews and original photography from five distinct locations around the world. Subscribe Now: $39