San Pedro Waterfront Tower Designed to Maximize Views

A contemporary, new high-rise tower now stands where the 11-story Pacific Trade Center building in San Pedro, Calif., once stood. In 2006, the Pacific Trade Center building was abated of asbestos and imploded to make way for the future. Galaxy Commercial Holdings commissioned GMPA Architects Inc. of Santa Monica, Calif., to design the new 16-story residential tower.

“The Vue is the first high-rise residential building in Old Town San Pedro,” says J. Kobi Moses, AIA, principal architect on the project. “Its layout was carefully choreographed to encourage interaction between residents and the public, promoting a sense of community and creating a lively pedestrian experience to activate the neighborhood, which is in transition. To promote smart growth, all of the public spaces, the pool and the gym front the street, strengthening connectivity.”

Drawing inspiration from the nearby Port of Los Angeles, the new structure mimics the rectangular blocks of stacked containers at the port with vertical elements taking their cues from the cranes. The architect specified Reynobond ACM to create a nautical feel, accentuate the vertical lines of the design and to provide contrast to the blue-green and yellow glass (symbolizing the ocean and sky) used in the windows.

Erected on an unusually narrow site with a 20-foot slope from street to street, the architects designed a “Z-shaped” building to maximize views and minimize shadows cast from adjacent structures. The shape allowed for the judicious placement of windows to maximize waterfront and hillside views: 60 percent of the units feature harbor views and 90 percent have harbor and/or hillside views.

Alumawall Inc. of San Jose, Calif., fabricated 95,000 square feet of Reynobond ACM, RB160, FR core in a custom silver metallic finish.

“We had to field measure the entire project due to the post tension slabs which caused the building to twist and the finish floors to vary in elevation,” says David Warda, president of Alumawall Inc. “The staging of the panels was very difficult as the site was very tight. So we prefabricated all of the panels in our shop in San Jose.”

Giroux Glass Inc. of Los Angeles installed the panels on the exterior columns, fasçia and soffits in Alumawall’s 1400 series wet seal system. Bovis Lend Lease of Los Angeles served as the general contractor on the project.