LOS ANGELES | The Gas Company Tower | 749 FT / 228 M | 52 FLOORS | 1991
The second of three office towers built by Maguire Thomas Partners using air rights from the LA Central Library, The Gas Company Tower serves as the corporate headquarters for The Gas Company, a Southern California utility company.
The tower sits at the base of Bunker Hill, fronting 5th Street and Grand Avenue. It shares the block with the AT&T Switching Center. The tower's long east-west form rises with broken corners to a series of setbacks that is finally capped by a pointed ellipse, which breaks each end of the facade.
The building was designed by Richard Keating and was his last completed while heading up the SOM Los Angeles office.
The tower has appeared prominently in the movies Speed and Virtuosity, both of which prominently featured the mechanical spaces within the elliptical roof.
I like this building for its simple geometric forms. Keating's use of a variety of greys in the spandrel panels breaks up the massing and offsets the reflective blue glazing. The massing actually steps down from Bunker Hill (although it is very subtle) and the crowning ellipse is unique on the skyline.
The long linear lobby is interesting and a ridculous design challenge (one end of the lobby is a good 50' higher than the other). I wish I had better photos of it.
I do wish this building had better lighting....
While this building is the 4th tallest in the city, due to Bunker Hill it appears to be 6th. Two California Plaza, just 1 full block up Bunker Hill is only 1 foot taller, yet appears at least 75' taller in the skyline:
Under construction in the summer of 1990:
Love that shape:
I really like how the building masses against Pershing Square and the Biltmore Hotel across the street:
Even if you are 1 in a million, there are still 7,000 people just like you...
Lighting that crown up would rock, big time.
What a handsome gem of a skyscraper. Lighting would only improve that.
"Build me to the heavens, and Life never stops"
"Live as if the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be"
"Prayers are fleeting and wars are forgotten, but what is built endures"
-Ambassador DeLenn, Babylon 5