Trademark Concrete Systems - The Grand LA, a dynamic city center to revitalize downtown cultural and civic core
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The Grand LA, a dynamic city center to revitalize downtown cultural and civic core

Trademark Concrete Systems

Industrial Design  /  Completed
Trademark Concrete Systems

“The vision for this project started with Eli Broad back in the 1990s,” says Rick Vogel, of Related Companies the real estate powerhouse behind The Grand LA, which will begin its debut in late spring. “[Broad] was really trying to create this cultural corridor that could be the place where Angelenos would celebrate sports team wins, marathons, everything that brings a city together.” The County and City of LA and the Community Redevelopment Agency aggregated land downtown and looked to developers. “We teamed up with Frank Gehry, and we won the competition in 2004 with a very forward-looking plan that added about 3.2 million square feet that would really create a 24/7, fully functioning neighborhood, developed in three phases."

One of the many highlights of this enormous development is the decorative hardscape that helps to encapsulate the properties two towers. It's hard to put into words the amount of detail that went into the streetscape alone that help create a seamless transition between the two Gehry designs, allowing them to “speak” to one another in one of Los Angeles’ most creative and up-and-coming neighborhoods. To give you an idea, if you were to walk out the front entry of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, you’d find yourself at The Grand LA’s “Urban Room”; a collection of ancient olive trees surrounded by a stretch of terraced cast-inplace concrete walls that match the plazas flatwork, these walls form an amphitheater & overlook one of the world’s most iconic structures.

On such a landmark project sustainability was discussed extensively when developing the flatwork paving. Mock ups were placed using various cement types - Type 1L, Type 3, White Cement, & eventually Slag Cement, a recovered material from the iron production process, very effective in reducing permeability and increasing durability in concrete. Because of this it reduces the environmental impact of concrete mixtures. It was blended with Type II/V cement & used in over 70,000 SF of the 100,000 SF of finished paving. Then, the use of Orca aggregate was incorporated into the projects 20,000 SF valet. Concrete with Orca aggregates produces high performance structural properties with the lowest possible cement contents and admixture use, thus reducing the GMP of the flatwork at the projects valet.

Over the course of eighteen months, various mock ups were created, using a wide range of colors and textures. Between the design team, Trademark Concrete, & CalPortland it was determined a blend of Type II/V cement & slag (with an added dose of BASF color) would be the "ticket" moving forward for both horizontal and vertical elements on the project. Once a paving was agreed upon, a series of tests would be required by the city of Los Angeles before the specialty paving could be placed in the public right-of-way. Among them, SRI (Solar Reflective Index), SCOF (Static Coefficient of Friction), & compressive strength testing – just to name a few. Trademark Concrete & OJB continued to work in unison with the city to ensure the Trademark EcoCast® paving that was selected for the project not only extend into the public right-of-way, but would include Gehry’s signature “running bond” joint pattern. The challenges of this project simply can’t be overstated as a majority of the finished paving was elevated and placed over a structural deck; requiring hundreds of sandbags to hold the formwork in place. Smaller pours were done with wheelbarrow loads through the projects freight elevators. All the decorative hardscape on the project required various levels of surface retarders, in turn, the paving had to be washed the following day. All the wash water from the concrete had to be properly contained, vacuumed up, loaded into 55-gallon drums, and taken back down the freight elevator and disposed of properly.

The Grand LA is a visionary public-private partnership with the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority to revitalize downtown LA's cultural and civic core with a mix of commercial, retail, cultural and residential apartments stitched together with grand public spaces and world-class architecture. The Grand LA was designed to be a dynamic city center, including over 176,000 square feet of retail space anchored by chef-driven restaurants and a collection of shops, a hotel and luxury residences.


 Los Angeles
 California, USA
 Related Companies
 Mixed Use - Retail, Hotel, Residences
 12950 mq
  1,000,000,000.00 $
 Gehry Partners (Frank Gehry)
 OJB (landscape architect), KGM (Lighting Designer), & Sweeney & Associates (Irrigation Designer)
 KPFF (civil engineer), DCI Engineers (Structural Engineer), & Pan Pacific (MEP Engineer)
 Related Companies (Developer)
 Weldon Brewster & Trademark Concrete Systems, Inc.


Trademark Concrete Systems, Inc. originated over 25 years ago by management and field personnel with decades of experience in decorative concrete. The key to our success has been our people. We have become the recognized standard of quality in our field. We keep our company the best in the field of decorative concrete through implementation of in-house training, continuing education, and involvement in organizations that support, guide, and lead the concrete industry.
We work up front to create a better end product – before the concrete is placed. We review drawings and specifications, and offer our expertise through shop drawings, samples, and concrete mix designs that yield concrete work with better value. You will find our decorative concrete at world-class resorts and hotels, museums, entertainment centers, major universities, office buildings, and retail centers; furthermore, we enrich our communities through our work at parks, schools, street improvements, and churches.

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