777 Tower | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Gary Leonard/Los Angeles Public Library

777 Tower

The 777 Tower, rising from the corner of South Figueroa and West Eighth Streets, is the seventh-tallest high rise in Los Angeles and by all rights should look like a hulking mass of a building. Instead, it is a light and graceful tower of glass and off-white steel, effortlessly piercing the downtown skyline with subtle articulation and detail.

Designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the fifty-three-story building was completed in 1990 and set a new standard for downtown’s commercial architecture.

It epitomizes the Postmodern use of a stretched skin style with reimagined classical details in a simple and elegant design. The tower is bowed on the east and west sides, and the piers between windows are wider at the center of these elevations than at the edges, emphasizing the curves and accentuating the vertical force of the design. Each pier, acting as an exaggerated mullion between windows, is made of a pair of round semi-cylinders divided by a sharp rectangular fin. The piers are nearly sculptural in nature and serve to manipulate the changing light, generating patterns of highlights and dark shadows along the length of the tower.

In 1990, Pelli said he tried to create “a poetry of precision” in the design, in homage to Southern California’s postwar tradition of high-tech industries like aerospace. The result is one of downtown Los Angeles’ most graceful high-rise office buildings.

Pegasus Apartments
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Pegasus Apartments

Representing a significant stage in the evolution of the high-rise office buildings of Los Angeles, the 1949 Mobil Oil/General Petroleum Building was one of Wurdeman and Becket's first major office commissions.
Gehry House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Gehry House

Starting with a Dutch Colonial Revival and building around it, Gehry would strip much of the interior while adding a new exterior of wood clad in plywood, glass, corrugated metal, and chain-link fencing.
Westside Pavilion
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Westside Pavilion

Designed to evoke the feeling of an open-air European shopping district, the Westside Pavilion was initially met with great resistance from local residents but has since become an integral part of the West L.A. landscape.