(W)rapped Up In A Bow

L.A.'s long-awaited Eric Owen Moss-designed tower shows signs of progress

(W)rapper features an exoskeleton that 'wraps' around the building's four sides to allow the interior to become entirely column-free. (Courtesy of Eric Owen Moss Architects)

Exactly 20 years after it was approved by both the Los Angeles City Planning Commission and the Los Angeles City Council, an Eric Owen Moss Architects-designed project is finally showing signs of life. (W)rapper, a 17-story office tower being developed by local real estate investment firm Samitaur Constructs, is sited just south of the La Cienega/Jefferson Expo Line station in Culver City. The firm is also responsible for the development of over 10 buildings designed by Eric Owen Moss on nearby Hayden Avenue, including Vespertine, the Lindblade Tower and Paramount Laundry Building, and Pterodactyl. At 230 feet, (W)rapper would be the second-tallest building in its immediate area and one of the tallest in Culver City.

The name of the project is a reference to the ribbon-like exoskeleton structural system that “wraps” the structure on all four sides, allowing the interior to be entirely column-free. Each floor will contain an uninterrupted 22,000 square feet of floor space, three of which will have ceiling heights of over 24 feet. (W)rapper will be topped by an expansive penthouse and roof deck. An external elevator will be placed on the southern face of the building to maintain the aesthetic and spatial simplicity of the portions facing the Expo line station, while an external staircase was included as a major design element of the structure’s eastern facade. The design and structural innovations of the project won the AIA/LA NEXT LA Merit Award in 2010.

As the second-tallest building in its vicinity, (W)rapper will have almost entirely unobstructed views of the Santa Monica mountains. (Courtesy Eric Owen Moss Architects)

With neighboring companies including Apple/Beats By Dre, HBO, Amazon, Nike, WeWork and Jam City, Samitaur Constructs is hoping that (W)rapper will attract similar high-end clientele to the tower’s 180,000 square feet of office space, while also offering public and retail space on its ground floor. The original proposal for the lot was for two 230-foot-tall towers, though the final design was scaled back for the project’s current iteration.

After beginning construction this month, it is projected that (W)rapped will be completed by the first half of 2021.

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