For the last five years, I have spent a good amount of time documenting Wilshire Grand’s construction. After all the glass was installed and the crane came down, I was a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong – I’m as excited as anyone that my home city currently takes the claim for tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. However, the building design wasn’t exactly as radical as Shanghai Tower or Via 57 West, like I had hoped. My opinion changed after seeing the Wilshire Grand light show from the opening ceremony, which was pretty spectacular.
What Wilshire Grand may lack in avant-garde shape is made up for with the cutting-edge LED display. The two screens, which measure 42 by 60 feet, consist of a mind-blowing 250 million pixels. There are also 2.5 miles of LEDs that run up the two spines of the tower, which is 1,100 feet tall. The dazzling light show was brought to life by StandardVision, a leading provider of architecturally integrated media installations. The seamless-flow of vibrant colors and and animations bring the 73-story tower, which was designed by A.C. Martin, to life. Of course, the screens will intermittently display the logo of Korean Air, who developed the $1.2-billion project. I have also spotted the logo of Intercontinental Hotels, which occupies the upper floors of the tower with 889 rooms. It remains to be seen if any future tenants will also have their logo or name displayed on the sail.
The opening ceremony took place on Friday, June 23rd. The light show consisted of digital fireworks, an outline of a Gangnam Style dancer, a full moon, and plenty of scintillating colors. It ran from 8pm and ended with a display of the Korean Air logo right around 10:15pm.
For a full retrospective of the project, UrbanizeLA ran an article featuring my construction photos, which I began taking in 2012. To scroll through memory lane, you can see the full article here.