Roxbury Plaza | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Lynne Tucker

Roxbury Plaza

Of the many high-rise office buildings that shot up on Wilshire Boulevard during the postwar period, few are as graceful as the Manufacturers Bank building in Beverly Hills.

Completed in 1974, the thirteen-story tower (also known as Roxbury Plaza) is an undulating parallelogram on a corner in downtown Beverly Hills. It was designed by architect Anthony Lumsden of Daniel, Mann, Johnson, and Mendenhall (DMJM), who along with colleague Cesar Pelli was renowned for his innovative glass-skin designs.

The Late Modern-style Manufacturers Bank building illustrates Lumsden’s hallmark design elements of aerodynamic curves, reversed mullions, and vast expanses of glass curtain walls. It relates strongly to its site, with its curving walls bending in response to its corner location, the tallest tower standing at the intersection and the rest of the building flowing wave-like behind it.

Lumsden used a cladding of dark-tinted mirrored glass to set the tower apart from the other high-rise office buildings dominating this part of Beverly Hills. Its colors change with the weather but remain subdued in the service of the curving, balanced structure.

For all its elegance and size, the Manufacturers Bank building was remarkably cost-efficient, with its construction costing no more than $16 per square foot.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

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By Jeremy Sternberg on Flickr

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