Steel Shots: Grand Vision

The new Wilshire Grand is poised to redefine the Los Angeles skyline. Located on the site of the recently demolished Wilshire Grand Hotel, the 1,100-ft-tall skyscraper will be the tallest building in the Western U.S. when completed in 2017. The tower will house a luxury hotel on the upper floors and offices on the lower floors. A five-story podium will include retail and dining options and the building will offer five levels of subterranean parking.

Reaching 73 stories and topped by a distinctive, sail-shaped dome, it is the first building of any height in downtown LA to be constructed without a flat roof. The tower will also feature double-deck elevators that take visitors to the rooftop sky lobby to be greeted with an infinity pool and views of the city that extend to Santa Monica.

The tower is also built to withstand severe earthquakes. Its gravity system consists of a concrete core wall with steel box columns (called buckling-restrained braces, or BRBs) and structural steel framing outside the footprint of the core. The BRBs serve as overturning resistance and are supported by the core. Forty of them are being used for the lower configuration of the building and span across three stories of office space. Each one weighs more than 23 tons and is rated for 2200 kips. An “electroslag” welding technique was used to weld the BRB gusset plates to the steel plates embedded in the concrete core wall. 

Schuff Steel (an AISC Member and AISC Certified fabricator) is fabricating and erecting the structural steel for the project. AC Martin is the architect and Turner Construction is the general contractor.

To learn more about the project, visit

One of the buckling-restrained braces (BRBs) supporting the concrete core of the building.

A cantilevered crane moves along the tower’s glass façade.