UCLA Margo Leavin Art Studio Wins Charles Pankow Award

Largo Concrete worked with Abbott Construction on the UCLA Warner Graduate Art Studio Project in Culver City, CA.

The overall project consisted of a 21,200sf renovation of the Graduate Art Studios existing building and a 26,800sf, L-shaped addition to the facility. Design by architecture firm Johnston Marklee, the building is organized in the fashion of a ‘community’ with small blocks of private studios in a cul-de-sac setting adjacent to communal, plaza like facilities connected by pathways akin to city streets. Specialized lab space for woodworking and ceramics are also included in the facility which is designed to be adaptable to accommodate future new technologies and working methods. The Margo Leavin Art Studio project anticipates a LEED Gold Certification.

The construction of this building utilized several different concrete assemblies to support the building and achieve the natural concrete look. This was especially important to designers and the University to integrate the facility into the former industrial zone know as the Hayden Tract. The exterior walls were designed as concrete tilt-up panels with 2′-0″ “pillows” or half-circles on the exterior face. Special single-use form liners were designed and fabricated out of state to achieve the “pillow” shapes. Cast-in-place stitch columns were used to connect the tilt panels at each grid line. The stitch columns also used the “pillow-shaped” form liner but were exceptionally challenging because they were poured full-height (28′-10″) between the panels and had to line up perfectly with no gaps or visible seams. Largo Concrete’s in-house engineering team designed custom falsework to support lintel panels which would eventually be suspended 15’-0” in the air. These panels also feature the “pillowed” exterior finish and are unsupported from below as they span the openings to the building.

The interior frame of the building consists of cast-in-place walls, columns and ring beams: all exposed with an “as-cast” finish. Shotcrete walls and beams were installed against the existing building walls on two sides to connect the new construction to the existing building. As was the case with the exterior finish, no sacking or other cosmetic enhancements were allowed on the interior as well. The buildings roof is designed as a grid of vaults with curved glulam beams covered by roofing membrane, curved polycarbonate or nothing at all to allow for natural ventilation in certain spaces.

Limited access to the building pad because of the existing structure made it difficult to form, place and hoist the tilt-up panels. The time frame to complete all of the building concrete was 8 months. Despite these challenges the concrete scope of work was completed in eight months with zero safety incidents over 29,213 hours. Some of the potential hazards that were endured included 30’-0” shotcrete walls and beams, 30’-0” shear walls and columns, 30’-0” tilt-up panels and hoisting the panels with a high voltage wire running along one side of the jobsite.

A special thanks to all those involved in this great project:
Owner: University of California, Los Angeles
General Contractor: Abbott Construction
Architect: Johnston Marklee
Structural Engineer: Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger
Readymix Supplier: Cemex

UCSD North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Center Buildings Three & Four

Largo recently topped out on the North Torrey Pines Living and Learning Center at the University of California, San Diego. The project was designed by HKS Architect, Inc. and Magnusson Klemencic Associates is located on the southeast corner of North Torrey Pines Rd. and Muir College Dr. in La Jolla, CA. Largo’s scope only covered a portion of the overall development with buildings Three and Four consisting of 15 and 14 levels respectively, for a total of 600,000gsf. The development features 2,000 new beds for undergraduate students with related residential life space, new facilities for the Sixth College, social sciences, arts and humanities, dining and retail space, and 1,200 parking stalls. General contractor Clark Construction is aiming to have the development open for the Fall 2020 semester with a LEED Platium rating.

Building Under the Disney Height Cone at the Anaheim Resort District

Westin Resort
Largo recently topped out on the last of three hospitality projects in the Anaheim Entertainment District. The Westin Anaheim Resort is located on the south side of Katella Avenue from Disneyland next to the Convention Center. The development features 634 rooms spread across 9 above grade levels with 31,200sf of retail and restaurant space on grade. When the development opens during the summer of 2020 it will be Anaheim’s second, non-Disney four-diamond resort. Largo worked with general contractor KCS West, architect  Harley Eliis Devereaux and structural engineer Englekirk.

The Disney Height Cone
The Westin’s proximity to the Disneyland Resort meant the design had to conform with what local developers refer to as the “Disney Cone”. This height restriction on buildings surrounding the park allows visitors to be totally
immersed in the Disney experience with limited views of anything non-Disney . This effort began back in the 1960’s with a strategically placed landscaped berm surrounding the park and has evolved into a city mandate. Currently, the ‘cone’ limits heights of buildings immediately surround the park to 75′ gradually increasing to 240′ a half-mile away from the resort. 

JW Marriott
Just one mile east of the Westin along South Clementine Street Largo poured the concrete at the 466 room JW Marriott hotel with general contractor W.E. O’Neil. Construction on this 13 level structure began during the spring of 2018 with Largo pouring three large mat foundations totaling 5,796CY over the course of 2 weeks. Designed by Morris Architects and structural engineer Walter P. Moore, this 488,692gsf development is scheduled to open during the spring of 2020. When it is complete this development will be the first non-Disney four diamond resort in Anaheim.

Cambria Suites
One block further east on Katella Avenue, Largo worked with Nexus Construction and davisReed on the Cambria Suites project. Largo topped out on the one level below grade and 13 levels above structure in January of 2019. In addition to the 352 rooms the resort will feature a 30,000sf water park, outdoor movie viewing area and 15,000sf of restaurant and retail space.

Anaheim Resort District Projects
Largo Concrete has a rich history in the Anaheim Resort District which includes the following projects: Holiday Inn, Staybridge Suites, Worldmark, Disney Grand Californian Expansion, Little Mermaid, Frontierland Expansion, Great Wolf Hotel and Resort and the Anaheim Convention Center Expansion.

1066 Market Topping Out

Largo topped-out at the 1066 Market street high-rise this week in downtown San Francisco. The building features two levels of below grade parking with 97 total stalls and 4,000sf of retail at grade level. 303 high-end residential units span the following 15 levels above grade. Largo is working with general contractor Swinerton Builders, architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Assoc. and structural engineer Nishkian Menninger to have the building open in early 2020.

Miro Mat Foundation Pours

Over the course of the last two Saturdays, Largo poured a total of 13,100 cubic yards of concrete foundations at the Miro project in San Jose, CA. Each pour started at 2:00AM and took over 16 hours to complete using five truck-mounted boom pumps. Readymix supplier Cemex used 93 trucks to deliver over 1,300 loads to the site across the street from City Hall. When complete the development will feature two 28 story towers above three levels of below grade parking. The Miro towers will add 630 new residential units to one of the most expensive housing markets in the country along with 633 stalls of parking. Largo is working with Steinberg Architects, DCI Engineers and general contractor Suffolk Construction toward an opening date in the summer of 2020.

Circa and Disney win Pankow Awards from the American Concrete Institute

The American Concrete Institute’s Southern California Chapter has selected the Disney Frontierland Expansion and the Circa projects for the annual Pankow awards!

Charles Pankow Jr. Award – Circa at 1200 S. Figueroa

The focal point of this $500 million mega-project are the twin high-rises adjacent to the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.  26 residential levels sit atop eight levels of podium parking, two of which are below grade, with commercial space at grade level. Designed by architects Harley Ellis Devereaux both towers stand 420’ and hold 648 total units. The 2-acre amenity deck complete with swimming pool and fitness center is located on the podium level above 1,645 stalls of parking. Situated between LA Live, the Convention Center and the Metro Pico Station in the city’s South Park district, the high-rise buildings feature an elliptical north face to enhance views of the skyline and mimic design themes from surrounding architecture.

Structural engineer Cary Kopczynski & Company utilized cast-in-place concrete with post-tensioned slabs which minimizes internal columns for maximum openness. The use of a two-way post-tensioned slab system allowed for continuity of framing between the retail/parking podium and the residential levels above, eliminating the need for transfer beams. A combination of shear walls and ductile frames resist seismic loads.

In June 2015, Largo started by pouring four large mat foundations totaling 15,985CY with ready mix supplier Holliday Rock.  Over the course of 24 months Largo poured a total of 110,000 cubic yards installed by 600,000 man-hours without any days away from work safety incidents.  All this was all accomplished across the street from the home court/rink of multiple professional sports teams and millions of convention center guests.

Outstanding Performance in Design and Engineering Award – Disney Frontierland Expansion

The goal of this project was to prepare the Disneyland park for the new Star Wars attraction. In addition to four tunnels, multiple retaining walls and a marina, Largo’s scope included a concrete trestle bridge for the railroad at the Rivers of America attraction. Although the visual aspect of the end product is exquisite, the details that were put into the fabrication of the two elements of the structure; the columns and hammerheads, and the concrete mix design used to simulate an aged wooden railroad trestle bridge, is also noteworthy.

The columns started in the back lots of Walt Disney Imagineering as an image in the mind of the design team. This image was transformed into approximately 50 lineal feet of hand carved foam positive. This was reviewed by the Disney team to confirm their vision and sent out to Fitzgerald Formliners to confirm that the positive would produce a usable form liner. A number of changes were made in the foam positive to ensure that no negative spaces existed in the positive to allow for smooth removal of the form liner. To allow for proper alignment of the four columns that attached to each of the twelve hammerheads, relative to each other, the column forms were fastened to a wall form.

With all of the details in the form liner, Largo contacted Holliday to discuss the appropriate concrete mix design to ensure a perfect positive from the very detailed form liner. Although self-consolidating concrete is not frequently used in the Southern California Market, it was determined that with the details, the importance of exact alignment of the columns and the limited space within the column form to allow for a vibrator, that this would be the appropriate mix design to yield the best finished product.

4000 psi @ 28 days Self Consolidating Concrete mix with a water to cement ratio of 0.44. The cementitious content was 8.5 sacks that was 70% Type II/V cement and 30% Type F Fly Ash. Nominal spread was 25” to 30” but it was usually in excess of 27”. It has a maximum aggregate size of 3/8”, but since the mix needed to reveal very fine details it was proportioned to contain 70% Washed Concrete Sand. All of the aggregates are from Holliday Rocks Upland California Facilities. The admixtures in the mix design included: a Type F High Range Water Reducing Superplastizing polycarboxylate, a workability-retaining admixture that provides flexible degrees of slump retention without retardation. And when needed (in this case it wasn’t but was always available) a viscosity-modifying admixture that is specially developed for producing concrete with enhanced viscosity and controlled rheological properties that increases resistance to segregation while facilitating placement and consolidation.

The hammerheads that span across the columns were formed out of rough sawn dimensional lumber of varying widths on top of the above-mentioned columns. Each of the twelve hammerheads were formed with no common joint plan of the rough sawn lumber. Steps were taken to raise the texture of the rough sawn lumber. Each board was soaked in water overnight and sealed with form release to accentuate the rough sawn look to the vision of the Imagineers. The hammerheads were also poured with the self-consolidating concrete mix design that was used in the columns.

Typically, these decorative types of concrete elements are a post installed façade covering a structural column, but with the load requirements of the train, envisioned size of the elements and the environmental concerns of the river, the above summarized use of concrete was developed and put to use.

Carte Hotel Tops Out in San Diego

Largo Concrete recently topped out at the Carte Hotel in downtown San Diego. Located at 401 W. Ash this 17 level building features two levels below grade and 14 stories above totalling 174,470gsf. The building consists of 2 levels of underground parking holding 118 stalls, and a conference room, event center, ballroom, gym, four-star restaurant and swimming pool between levels 1 thru 3. 240 total hotel rooms are spread out between levels 4 thru 14 with a rooftop observation deck with view of downtown and the harbor. Working with general contractor DavisReed, Tucker Sadler Architects and PK Associates as structural engineer, the building is scheduled to open during the first quarter of 2019.

Two Residential Project Starts in San Francisco

1066 Market
The Market street development will hold 303 units and 97 parking stalls spread across 3 levels below grade and 16 levels above. Working with general contractor Swinerton Builders, Solomon Cordwell Buenz architects and Nishkian Menninger structural engineers, Largo expects to top our during the summer of 2019.

875 California
A couple miles north, the 875 California development is also being constructed with the same general contractor and structural engineer, with BDE Architecture. The building will house 44 units above 48 parking stalls on 100,000gsf. The structure will be 2 levels below grade and 8 levels above and is expected to top out during the summer of 2019.

Park 5th Tops Out

Across the street from Pershing Square, Largo topped out at the Park 5th development in downtown Los Angeles this week. The building rests on a 4,700CY mat foundation which was poured in August 2017, with two levels below grade and 25 levels above. Patrons of the 347 unit high-rise will enjoy a rooftop deck with a club room, fitness center, a bar/kitchen, TVs, a business center, and an infinity pool with cabanas. Designed by architect Ankrom Moisan and Nabih Youssef & Associates structural engineers, the buildings is seeking LEED Silver certification by the USGBC. Working with general contractor Suffolk Construction the building is scheduled to be open in the first quarter of 2019.

437 S. Hill Podium

The MacFarlane Partners are also developing the site adjacent to the high-rise into a new mid-rise apartment complex. Largo worked with Bernards on this project pouring the concrete in a 5 level parking podium with wood frame above.

9,509CY Mat Pour at the Century Plaza Residences in Century City, CA

Largo poured 9,509CY of concrete at the Century Plaza Residences in Century City this weekend. The large foundation is for one of two 46 level residential buildings with a similar size pour scheduled for later this summer. Over 100 tradesmen were on site to unload, pump, place and finish 1,001 ready mix truck loads over 16 hours. Seven boom pumps, two city pumps and two placing booms worked together pumping 800CY/Hour. Working with architectural premiere designers Gensler, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Harley Ellis Devereaux, Englekirk Structural Engineers, and general contractor Webcor Builders, the development is scheduled to open in 2020.