COOL FINS AT WESTFIELD’S CENTURY CITY April 2018
Following a $800 million upgrade, Westfield’s Century City mall in Los Angeles has been dramatically remodelled, partly thanks to an ultra-modern external screening solution, courtesy of Levolux. The comprehensive revamp of the site involved the refurbishment of existing buildings, some dating back to 1964, complemented by several new buildings.
Designed by the Westfield Design Studio and Gensler, Century City occupies a prominent site in the affluent west side of LA, on Santa Monica Boulevard. The re-worked Westfield mall accommodates iconic stores from Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom in addition to award-winning restaurants, cafes and health and wellness facilities.
The solution, which is based on the popular Infiniti Fin system, includes vertical and horizontal aluminium fins, which are distributed across the site in 27 different locations. Levolux developed custom, trapezoidal-shaped fin extrusions to meet project specific requirements.
All horizontal fins, which measure 127mm deep, are incorporated into a series of vertical screens. The horizontal fins feature prominently across the site with a pitch that varies from 180mm up to 720mm. As an effective form of architectural massing, the screening fins create a 3-dimensional element that defines the building’s exterior.
In addition, Levolux provided larger fins, each measuring 250mm deep, also with a trapezoidal-shaped profile. The larger fins are arranged vertically and are incorporated as individual elements and within panels. The individual fins have a typical pitch of 400mm, while those within panels are brought together, with a typical pitch of just 230mm.
The individual vertical fins are used to screen the upper levels of a multi-storey car park. The fins vary in length, with some extending up to 4.5 metres across openings, while others are shorter, allowing clear openings, or making way for LED screens or advertising billboards.
The panelised vertical fins, which are secured back to horizontal aluminium carriers, are positioned in front of glazed openings at high level. They provide a degree of shading, while creating an attractive architectural feature that complements the overall scheme.
Although the horizontal fins have a real timber appearance, with a dark brown colour and reassuring woodgrain textured finish, they are actually formed from extruded aluminium components. Thanks to advances in powder coating techniques, the faux-wood or wood-effect finish is so realistic that it is almost impossible to tell it apart from real timber.
There are several advantages to using aluminium as opposed to timber. Aluminium is lighter, more stable, is easier to fabricate and the finish applied is much less likely to fade or discolour due to weathering.
A clip-in rear section of each fin incorporates a retractable fixing, allowing fins to be removed if required for access, or maintenance to other areas.
The fins are accentuated at night, thanks to discreet lighting fitted within recesses. This helps to create a more relaxing atmosphere, which is more conducive for staging social entertainment events and allows the mall to become more connected with the multi-screen cinema which also occupies the site.
Now complete, the upgraded and extended Century City mall in Los Angeles has been transformed, with the help of an innovative screening solution from Levolux. It is not only regarded as a first-choice destination for high fashion and fine food, but also as one of LA’s most exciting venues for entertainment and hospitality.