AT&T Center

Att Center
  1. About the AT&T Center in Los Angeles
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The AT&T Center is an International Style skyscraper designed by William Pereira & Associates and built between 1962 and 1965 in Los Angeles, CA.

AT&T Center is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The AT&T Center is also known, or has been known as, USC Tower, Transamerica Tower, or Occidental Life Building.

Its precise street address is 1150 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA. You can also find it on the map here.

The building along with a second, 10-story building, make up what's known as South Park Center.

The building underwent a major restoration in 2008. The architect commissioned to undertake this restoration was Gensler.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago
  1. 2008 - The building underwent a renovation that included new metal panels on the curtain wall and an expansion of the penthouse.. The architect in charge was Gensler.

Architect and team

William Pereira & Associates was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

William Pereira & Associates was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Brandow & Johnston in charge of Structural Engineering.

Architectural Style

The AT&T Center can be categorized as an International Style building.

The international style originated in Europe in the early 20th century, and made its way to the US a couple of decades later when the rise of the Nazi regime forced figures such as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, or Mies van der Rohe to flee Europe.

The International Style emerged as a response to the prevailing historicism and ornate architecture styles of the late 19th century, which according to a younger generation of architects didn't represent the new materials and construction techniques that were on the rise at the time.

Architecture in the early 20th century US was marked by the adoption of steel structures, modern construction techniques, and the rise of the skyscraper. As it turns out, this combination of circumstances created the perfect ecosystem for the International Style to flourish, becoming the to-go style for skyscraper designs during the mid-20th century, when American cities were growing fast.

The International Style’s legacy can not only be found in numerous iconic buildings across all major American cities, but also incorporated in contemporary architecture, which still puts a big emphasis on functionality and minimalism.

The AT&T Center was completed in 1965. By 1965 the International Style movement had already left its early days behind and could be considered a mature movement, which does not mean it was loved and accepted by everyone, on the contrary. The International Style was accepted by the architecture community way before it was by the general public, and it is therefore likely that the AT&T Center was not well received by everyone at the time.

Spaces & Uses

The AT&T Center reaches an architectural height of 453ft (138m). It has a total of 32 floors, which combined offer a total of 581,627 sqf (54,035m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1965, the AT&T Center has mainly been used as Commercial space.

453ft (138m)

Materials & Structure

The AT&T Center uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a curtain wall with strong vertical elements that accentuate the building's height, while at the same time they create vertical shadows on the facade that add texture and depth to it.

Towards the top of the building we find a setback that also marks the end of the curtain wall. Above this setback, the last two floors feature a full glass curtain wall, and are adorned by what could be described as a reinterpretation of the gothic buttresses, which could be seen as an early sign of postmodernism.