Caltrans District 7 Headquarters

Landmark in Downtown Los Angeles & Boyle Heights

OK, maybe Caltrans didn’t earn its $150-million digs based on performance, but that doesn’t change the fact that this floating steel-mesh-and-glass-skinned behemoth is worthy of praise. Completed in 2004, the building won its designer – LA-based architect Thom Mayne – the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize a year later. The hulking structure is true to Mayne's futuristic style, with dramatic geometric forms, space-grey hues and perforated metal screens. Its Main St steps have become a vortex for Downtown’s skate punks.