The U.S. Bank Tower is currently the tallest building in the U.S. west of the Mississippi and was built in 1989.
The property was purchased by Singapore based Overseas Union Enterprise Ltd (OUE) in 2013 for US$367.5m and is undergoing refurbishment which includes the completed construction of an exterior glass slide called Skyslide, nearly 305m above downtown Los Angeles. The Skyslide itself is 13.7m long and approximately 1.22m wide and constructed entirely of 32mm thick glass. Visitors can experience Skyslide’s unparalleled views in a whole new way as they glide on a mat from the 70th to the 69th floor for a ticket cost of US$33.00.
Skyslide was designed by Consulting Engineers, M.Ludvik & Co based in Brooklyn, New York.
The 13.7m long transparent slide is constructed of 32mm thick glass on all four sides. The glass structure is suspended from two carbon-steel outriggers attached to the side of the building which allows riders to have an unimpeded view of the Los Angeles streetscape below.
In the event of earthquake, a design system of pins will allow the glass to pivot and remain undamaged by any inelastic seismic movement in the building and up to 2.4g seismic acceleration.
The glass is tempered and laminated with a special structural interlayer, similar to that which was designed for up to 177kph hurricane-resistant glazing in Miami. Some glass has complex curved geometry where tempering was not technically possible and a chemically strengthened glass was used.
Liveload testing was carried out using 5.44 tonnes of sandbags.