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Eric Owen Moss Architects

Los Angeles, CA, United States

April 2023


Eric Owen Moss (Lead Designer)



Laurie Samitaur Smith


Tom Bonner


The conceptual underpinnings of the curving structural band language was developed in parallel with an exhibition our office installed at the Wexner Museum in Columbus, Ohio called the Dancing Bleachers [1998]. In that exhibit we attached curving steel legs - the Bands – to the floor and roof juxtaposed with the overlaid grids in the Peter Eisenman-designed building. The curved Bands provided a center in an endless space. This idea of centeredness was also explored in the 2009 installation at SCI-Arc and 2010 installation at the MAK in Vienna titled “If Not Now, When?” We presented the ubiquitous grid as a metal box, hung as a conceptual foil from the gallery roof, intertwined with steel ribbons. The form language of the Bands suggests the prospect of a center or of multiple centers.

The Band form language evolved into a structural concept for the support of a new High-Rise office tower, (W)rapper. Unlike typical structural systems based on vertical columns organized on grid lines, the Bands are defined by center points and radii. (W)rapper geometry lies within a Polar vs. Cartesian coordinate system. The Bands is a structural system that departs from the traditional Cartesian system of x/y coordinates and is instead derived from a polar coordinate system, using a center point and a radius.

Combined with base-isolation this new structure has achieved the highest possible seismic safety rating and is one of the safest commercial high-rise office buildings in the United States.


(W)rapper is the latest EOMA contribution to an on-going 35-year revitalization plan for a former industrial and manufacturing zone in Central Los Angeles and Culver City, California with clients Frederick and Laurie Samitaur Smith. The project has reused, remodeled, and constructed over one million square feet of creative office and its architecture has transformed the area into one of the most-highly sought after creative office districts in the city.

Located along the Expo Line light rail connecting West Los Angeles with Downtown, (W)rapper contributes to the City’s long term planning goal to increase density along mass transit routes. In a neighborhood that historically limited heights to 45 feet, the 235 feet tall (W)rapper implements a new scale, density and purpose for the area and a new conception of an urban office building connected to transit.

The lobby of the office building is lifted to match the height of the elevated rail line to the north. The ground floor is opened for automobile and pedestrian site circulation along with a series of landscape, hardscape, and water feature amenities. A sweeping staircase brings pedestrians up from the pedestrian pathway to the adjacent train station directly up to the elevated lobby through a carefully orchestrated sequence of outdoor spaces and indoor café and lobby.


(W)rapper is supported by a network of exterior curvilinear steel bands originating from geometric center points. Each curving band is wrapped around the largely rectilinear building envelope, and folded around each corner of the building until it reaches the ground and is supported on a seismic base-isolator. The resulting network of curving structural steel is encased in fireproofing and supports the entire building with no interior columns.

Seventeen office floors are distributed as three different floor-to-floor height options – 13’-6”, 16’-6”, and 24’-0” – with a mezzanine hung from the ceiling above on the 24’-0” floor.

The enlarged floor heights provide sweeping views of the surrounding Los Angeles area, while the perimeter glass has high-performance coatings and is oriented to provide additional shading on the west façade for optimal environmental performance. The project organization and building systems promote the use of public transportation and reduction of fossil fuel usage. These and other active and passive environmental strategies produce a high-performance building envelope which is equivalent to a LEED Silver sustainability rating.

The base-isolated structure adds to the sustainable building conception, providing a structure five times more seismically resilient than a typical American high-rise. The structural lifecycle of (W)rapper will reduce the carbon footprint of the project substantially over its useable lifetime. In comparison with more conventional structural concepts, (W)rapper offers both the city and its tenants the highest possible seismic safety rating and is the only high-rise commercial office building in the USA that utilizes such a base isolated structure.

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