The Wilshire Grand Center, located in Los Angeles, is the new tallest building west of the Mississippi. The project boasts three bespoke display systems that deploy as an iconic and integrated media lighting platform. Unique high-resolution Crown and Courtyard displays (2,100 and 5,500 square feet respectively) are set behind glass and framed by the primary lighting Spine, which consists of more than 13,000 linear feet of modular lighting that utilize more than 220 distinct fixture length variations.
Conceived as an iconic new landmark in the skyline of Los Angeles, the Wilshire Grand Center design began taking shape in 2012 under the stewardship of KAL and MPM. With the goal of developing a world-class digital light and media program on the façade of this monumental project, StandardVision (SV) had the pleasure of joining a top-notch design and construction team that included AC Martin, LDA, Turner, Benson, Selbert Perkins and Rosendin (among many others). The building consists of three distinct, but unified media systems all managed from a central broadcast server: The Courtyard Display sits behind glass on the fifth through seventh floor as revenue signage; the Crown Sign operates as a rotating three-tenant ID display atop the building; and the Spine Lighting acts as a connective gateway accenting the edges of the building’s soaring parametric design.
With a building configured to maximize views of the city, high transparency, high resolution, modular integration and an ability to “disappear” when off became critical for the bespoke Courtyard Display. The Crown Sign had similar design challenges and an increased exposure to daytime brightness due to its elevation, but no transparency requirement. The Spine Lighting presented an entirely different set of constraints as the horizontal lighting needed to precisely match hundreds of uniquely sized parametric curtain wall panels that were constantly changing floor-to-floor. With most lighting products only available in a handful of lengths, SV needed a modular approach to solve for every panel size.
Installation also posed a monumental challenge. Exterior mounting of 13,000+ feet of lighting would prove costly, so SV, and the façade contractor Benson, embarked on a detailed coordination effort to pre-install each fixture on the curtain wall prior to its installation.
To match Wilshire Grand’s panel variations, StandardVision reconceived its linear accent fixture (the Replicant), developing a revolutionary modular product that offers every 4mm (5/32”) increment standard between one foot and ten feet in length. This means simple production of more than 400 fixture lengths, with Wilshire Grand utilizing 220 unique combinations that were delivered to Benson’s factory for pre-installation. Countless hours were spent coordinating cable path and fixture integration to ensure access from the floor slab above, eliminating dangerous and costly exterior work. The result of this coordination was a bespoke solution, with unprecedented fixture variations and an industry leading power/data chain typology to feed more than 48 meters of fixture with over 90 meters of hidden jumper cables from a single driver.
The Courtyard and Crown signs employed equally bespoke design solutions, integrated behind the glass and between mullions with custom modules that offer up to 70 percent transparency and high-resolution capabilities.
StandardVision redeveloped its technology to meet client goals at every turn. Each foot of linear lighting was preinstalled, allowing for a much more efficient construction process that saved the client money while delivering a higher quality product. The Courtyard display is able to provide the client with both a revenue stream and a seamless architecture-forward design intent. However, Wilshire Grand’s presence as a beacon in a rapidly changing Los Angeles skyline is no doubt the chief success of StandardVision’s work. The digital identity signage and narrative lighting can be seen across the entire city, and has been described as Los Angeles’ glockenspiel, reflecting the emotions of a region (from the Dodgers’ blue to Breast Cancer Awareness’ pink). Wilshire Grand’s light and media platform offers unique branding at an
urban scale, identifying itself and its clientele as part of a new era in downtown LA’s regional development and worldwide cachet.
Turner Construction, Rosendin Electric, AC Martin, Lighting Design Alliance, Selbert Perkins