Los Angeles’ US Bank Tower received an unusual delivery this week when a helicopter lifted a glass slide to the exterior of the building’s 69th floor. Expected to open on June 25, the structure will form a ‘Skyslide’, linking the building’s 70th and 69th floors. The slide will take viewers down a drop of 45 feet in length, giving a bird’s eye view of the LA skyline on the way down.
The Skyslide is part of a US$50 million renovation undertaken by the building’s Singapore-based owners, who bought the building three years ago. Lucy Remantir, CEO of OUE Group, says the Skyslide will be “an exciting, unique and thrilling experience,” and believes it’s a world-first. “We developed the concept of the Skyslide ‘thrill factor’ as a way to make a splash with the OUE Skyspace observation deck.” The 10,000-pound structure, made of 1.25 inch-thick glass, is held in place with structural steel outriggers welded to the building and bolted to the metal trusses on the slide.
The remodel has been seen as an attempt to keep the iconic building relevant. Traditional office buildings are facing increased competition from renovated historic buildings, the preferred choice of many tech companies and firms in the creative industries.
The 1987 building at 633 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles is still widely referred to by Angelenos by its original name, Library Tower. It has 72 floors and an elevation of 1018ft (310m), making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River, the eleventh-tallest in the US and the 65th-tallest in the world.
The new complex has been dubbed Skyspace. The refit also includes bars, a restaurant and an open-air observation deck on the building’s upper levels with 360-degree views stretching from Santa Catalina island to the San Fernando valley. An interactive exhibition on the 54th floor will feature displays on the history of the city.
Open daily from 9am to 11pm, admission will cost US$25. For an additional $8, visitors will be able to slide down the 45ft incline on a mat with nothing but glass separating them from the street 1000ft below.