Glass Skyslide to be added to exterior of California's tallest skyscraper


A glass-enclosed "skyslide" is being added to the US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles, offering thrill seekers the opportunity to glide down the building's exterior.

Called Skyslide, the glass chute will measure 14 metres in length and 1.2 metres in width, and will be installed approximately 304 metres above the ground below.

The enclosure will be made of 32-millimetre-thick glass panels. Renderings show the slide attached to the 72-storey building by a metal support system.

"Visitors will experience Skyslide's unparalleled views in a whole new way, as they glide from the 70th to the 69th floor of the US Bank Tower," said the developer, Singapore-based OUE Limited, which purchased the office building in 2013.

Skyslide in LA

The slide is part of a new observation area called Skyspace LA that is being added to the 310-metre US Bank Tower, which is California's tallest building.

Designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the skyscraper was completed in 1989 and was the first supertall tower in the western United States, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

Totalling $50 million (£35 million), the current renovation and enhancement project – which global firm Gensler is designing – is meant to add tourist appeal to the ageing office tower, which faces competition from renovated historic industrial buildings that are popular with creative agencies and tech companies.

Roughly 75 per cent of the tower is currently occupied, according to reports.

"Skyspace LA is poised to be a beacon of the reemergence of downtown LA as a thriving community," said OUE Limited.

The 260-square-metre Skyspace will offer California's highest open-air observation deck when it opens this summer.

The space will offer panoramic vistas of the region, including views of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Pacific Ocean and cultural landmarks such as Dodger Stadium.

Skyslide in LA
The US Bank Tower in Los Angeles was designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and completed in 1989

It will also contain interactive exhibits. The 360-degree Digital Topography Wall of Los Angeles will present information on neighbourhoods and points of interest, while the Infinity Wall will show an endless series of reflections.

The Silhouette Wall will feature digital pixels that form shapes based on the body movement of visitors.

The entrance fee for the Skyspace will be $25 (£17), with a ride on the Skyslide costing an additional $8 (£6).

Related projects include a bubble-shaped viewing platform proposed for the top of commercial aircraft and Santiago Calatrava's competition-winning design for an observation tower in Dubai.

  • Archi

    A little tragic.

  • paulo costa

    Concerned this even made it as far as Dezeen’s pages. A one-trick pony. Slide for one storey, heavily and awkwardly over engineered, adds nothing to the existing building nor does it remotely reference its architecture. Ask yourself would a Carsten Holler or Olafur Eliasson do something like this.

  • Kokon_arch

    At first glance, I’d say April fools’ is almost there…

    • On second stance, visitors had best not find out that every class A steel-frame high-rise in southern California built between the late 1970s and 1994 were constructed with welded joints that are too brittle, are subject to cracking and/or failure due to sustained/heavy seismic shaking.

      Readers can gain a wealth of information on the problem by googling: Fema Brouwer LA Weekly. The city’s politicians, building and safety officials, office real estaters and the gatekeepers at the L.A. Times definitely do not want you to know about the startling issue. The professional association of structural engineers has taken a very decided position on the issue, but one will not read of it in the L.A. Times.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Just the place I’d want to be during an earthquake.

  • Brennan Murray

    It may be silly or never realised but I totally would pay to do that if included in the base price for an observation deck visit, as long as it is under $75 bucks.

    Burj Kalifa cost about $80, One World Trade Center cost $65 for the VIP ticket. As long as the the ticket is less than both of those I’m down.

  • Mark

    I’d be able to afford this from the sound energy created from screaming ‘no’.

  • Archi-Nerd

    In a post-Trump world, nothing is shocking anymore. -_-