Equitable Life Building

Equitable Building
  1. About the Equitable Life Building in Los Angeles
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The Equitable Life Building is an International Style skyscraper designed by Welton Becket & Associates and built between 1967 and 1969 in Los Angeles, CA.

Its precise street address is 3435 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA. You can also find it on the map here.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Construction completed
years ago

Architect and team

Welton Becket & Associates was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Welton Becket & 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 here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the Equitable Life Building a reality:

  • Welton Becket & Associates in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Turner Construction as the Main Contractor

Architectural Style

The Equitable Life Building 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 Equitable Life Building was completed in 1969. By 1969 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 Equitable Life Building was not well received by everyone at the time.

Spaces & Uses

The Equitable Life Building reaches an architectural height of 453ft (138m). It has a total of 39 floors, 34 above ground and 5 basements, served by 34 elevators, which combined offer a total of 779,995 sqf (72,464m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1969, the Equitable Life Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

453ft (138m)
5 basements

Materials & Structure

The Equitable Life Building 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.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features a curtain wall made of tinted bronze-colored glass panels, shielded by alternating vertical narrow sections of precast sandblasted concrete that accentuate the light beige tones of the limestone aggregate.

The tower stands on a podium that spans the entire block and where retail shops are located. Above this podium, the tower emerges, elevated on pillars that create an open-air gallery before the recessed, glass-enclosed lobby entrance. Double-height windows framed in concrete at the first level mark the beginning of the previously described curtain wall that continues from there on. The building is capped by a plinth surrounding it, bearing the building's name.

A two-level parking area is adjacent to the tower and connects to it via a canopy.