UPSIDE ON THE DOWNSLIDE
Singapore developers working with architects are not strangers to adding a bit of pizazz to the large scale projects they’ve undertaken. For example, the recently completed Marina Sands Casino in that city nation last March, has a fountain on the street level that drains into the shopping mall below creating a waterfall effect. See pillartopost.org for March 16, 2016 for more coverage: http://www.pillartopost.org/2016/03/world-architecture-singapores-rain_16.html
It’s all theatre. And, obviously contagious.
We mention this because last Saturday, Oue, a Singapore based commercial realty firm unveiled a new “attraction” atop one of the Los Angeles based properties it purchased, renamed and spent an additional $100 million or so on the rehab.
Called “Skyspace LA, the new multi-level architectural shtick is spread across four different floors of the high rise tower, that was originally built in 1989 as the U.S. Bank Tower.
The attraction that has captured the bulk of media attention this week is a 45-foot fully-enclosed plexiglass slide called Skyslide. The new thrill ride is now open to the public at $25 per per person. Skyslide is attached to the side of the 70th floor and sliders will be dropped down to the landing on the 69th floor.
The slide will take you on a magic carpet ride 1,000 feet over downtown LA. But the title of LA’s tallest building will pass next year from the Oue Tower to the Wilshire Grand Tower in less than a year. The new Chris Martin designed tower will top out at 1,100 feet vs. Oue’s 1,018.
Another feature of Skyspace LA is a new observation deck that offers a 360 view of the third largest city in the U.S.
The LA Times reports architecture firm Gensler handled the new remodel, which include “...a pair of redesigned lobbies (one for the tenants at ground level that is much more open to the sidewalk than before and the other for the slide-going public), a café, a slick and windowless “transfer floor” on the 54th story and a restaurant and bar on the 71st. The slide itself, called Skyslide, was designed by M. Ludvik Engineering...”
The Oue team didn’t dream up charging tourists for observation deck views. Fees are already in place to reach the view deck atop the new World Trade Center in New York (about $35); the Shard in London has a view spot for about $40 per person and the glass bottom view ledge at Chicago’s the Willis Tower charges $22 per person.
Doom and gloomers and other media will note the Oue staffers insist the slide can withstand an 8.0 earthquake and 110-mile-per-hour hurricane force winds. Speaking of hot air, no mention was made how it will withstand a possible Donald Trump election.