Rising from the ashes where the 11-story Pacific Trade Center building once stood, a contemporary high-rise tower provides a powerful new symbol of the renaissance taking place on the Old Town San Pedro waterfront. In 2006, the Pacific Trade Center building was abated of asbestos and literally imploded to make way for the future. Galaxy Commercial Holdings commissioned GMPA Architects, Inc. of Santa Monica, CA to design The Vue, a modern residential tower that captures the magnificent waterfront views, and draws them in to each apartment as part of the aesthetic. The completed 16-story tower opened in December 2008.
“The Vue is the first high-rise residential building in Old Town San Pedro,” said 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. Poolside stairs intersect the street, encouraging walkability and a healthy lifestyle.” 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 windows of blue-green and yellow glass (symbolizing the ocean and sky), lending a nice balance of solids and transparent materials. In addition, the metal panels shimmer in the light, bringing a touch of drama to the design.
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. Alumawall, Inc. of San Jose, CA fabricated 95,000 square feet of Reynobond ACM, RB160, FR core in a custom Silver Metallic finish. Reynobond is a product of Alcoa Architectural Products.
“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,” said 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, CA installed the Reynobond ACM panels on the exterior columns, fasçia and soffits in Alumawall’s 1400 series wet seal system. Bovis Lend Lease of Los Angeles, CA served as the General Contractor on the project.
The Vue houses 318 condominium homes with spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom penthouses ranging in size from 700 to 1,700 square feet. The unusual “Z-shape” allowed for the judicious placement of windows to maximize waterfront and hillside views: 60% of the units feature harbor views, 90% enjoy harbor and/or hillside views. Residents enjoy a rooftop deck complete with a pool, private cabanas, barbeques and a panoramic view. The architects incorporated innovated sustainable strategies throughout the entire design process. For example, the main HVAC apparatus was placed on the rooftop to eliminate vibration inside the building and reduce indoor noise, and to regulate temperatures more efficiently; each apartment has its own individual heating and cooling unit. An article in the May/June 2008 issue of Ocean Home magazine reported the cost of constructing The Vue at $174 million.