Its construction has spurred no shortage of hot takes on Twitter, and The Guardian has even described it as a "gas-guzzling villain’s lair." Whatever your feelings may be, there can be no doubt that the monumental Wrapper development has made its mark on the L.A. skyline.
The project, which is now officially complete more than a half-year after our tour inside, occupies a property located at 5790 W. Jefferson Boulevard - a short walk west of Metro's La Cienega/Jefferson Station. Developed by Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith, the 16-story tower features approximately 180,000 square feet of space across 16 floors, seated atop a subterranean parking garage, and adjacent to a multi-use trail which parallels the neighboring E Line right-of-way
"Wrapper’s structural concept originated in 1998 and was first presented in an exhibit at the Wexner Center in Columbus, Ohio," reads a narrative provided by Eric Owen Moss Architects, the firm responsible for the project's design. "Unlike conventional high-rise structural systems based on columns organized along modular grid lines, Wrapper is supported by a network of curvilinear bands originating from a number of geometric center points. Each curving band is wrapped around the largely rectilinear building envelope, and folded around each vertical and horizontal corner of the building until it reaches the ground."
Below the ground, the steel bands are supported by a base isolated foundation, allowing the building to move more safely during an earthquake. EOM Architects contends that the tower is five times more seismically resilient than a typical American high-rise.
The use of the steel frame exterior also allows building to have a column-free interior, with the tower's elevator core located at the rear. That also accommodates multiple floor-to-floor height options, ranging from as just over 13 feet to cavernous 24-foot-tall spaces with mezzanines hung from the ceiling.
Wrapper's height, which culminates in a rooftop deck 235 feet above ground level, was at one point unprecedented for the neighborhood. However recent years have brought a sea change to the Baldwin Hills and West Adams neighborhoods which surround La Cienega/Jefferson Station, notably in the form of the nearby Cumulus District with more than 1,200 apartments, a Whole Foods Market, and an even larger 30-story high-rise.
More changes are also on the horizon. Just east of the of the Wrapper site, real estate and construction firm Lendlease is planning to redevelop a Public Storage facility with a mixed-use project that would include a 12-story apartment building and offices.
Meanwhile, Samitaur and Moss also have big plans for neighboring sites - including a 22-story building which would eclipse the height of Wrapper and two additional high-rise buildings. The two firms have also proposed the construction of a pedestrian bridge which would connect Wrapper and its neighbors to properties across Ballona Creek in Culver City, where the two firms have developed a number of sculptural buildings over the course of a 35-year partnership.
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