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Architectural landmark near completion as Cesar Pelli tops out Red Building at Pacific Design Center

Architectural landmark near completion as Cesar Pelli tops out Red Building at Pacific Design Center

Architectural landmark near completion as Cesar Pelli tops out Red Building at Pacific Design Center

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Feb. 28, 2011) – Cesar Pelli celebrated a milestone for the Red Building on Monday, as the long-awaited final building of the Pacific Design Center nears completion. The Red Building is the third building of the landmark West Hollywood showroom-and-office complex whose design and construction span nearly 40 years.

At a topping-out ceremony, the architect joined developer and owner Charles S. Cohen to put in place a piece of red glass that completes the Red Building’s narrow triangular façade on San Vicente Boulevard. The 400,000-square-foot office building is slated for occupancy by year’s end.

“I am delighted to see the Red Building so close to fruition,” said Pelli, Senior Principal of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. “To know that the Pacific Design Center will soon be how I envisioned it is very exciting.”

Pelli conceived the 14-acre site to contain three buildings arranged around a plaza. The first, nicknamed the Blue Whale, was designed when Pelli was with Gruen Associates and completed in 1975. The Green Building, designed with his own firm, now Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, followed in 1988.

The most dynamic of the three, the Red Building is composed of two curved, sloping towers atop seven levels of parking. Between the towers will be a courtyard planted with palm trees. The six-story West Tower slopes inward against the Hollywood Hills. The eight-story East Tower curves upward.

The ceremony also paid tribute to the “Los Angeles 12,” a group of Southern California architects featured in a 1976 exhibition at the Blue Building. Pelli, Roland Coate, Raymond Kappe, Daniel Dworsky, Craig Ellwood, Frank Gehry, John Lautner, Jerrold Lomax, Anthony Lumsden, Leroy Miller, James Pulliam and Bernard Zimmerman were in the original show. Eric Owen Moss and Michael Maltzan were also recognized at the ceremony.

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