Kriston Capps is a staff writer for CityLab covering housing, architecture, and politics. He previously worked as a senior editor for Architect magazine.
L.A.’s U.S. Bank Tower is the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. Would you save an elevator trip down from the 70th floor?
The owners of the U.S. Bank Tower in Los Angeles boast the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. That’s not good enough, apparently. They also mean to make it the most terrifying tower in the world.
The Bank Tower’s owners, OUE Limited, just announced that they are adding a new feature to ensure that sightseeing tourists pee their pants when they visit. It’s a 36-foot-long slide, suspended between the building’s 69th and 70th floors.
On the outside of the building.
Gensler, the architecture firm enabling these monsters, designed the so-called “Skyslide” as a glass structure, according to Curbed L.A. That way, as tourists die from fear and shock, they can briefly experience what it would look like to die instead from falling 70 stories to the ground. Whee!
The Skyslide—which may be the most fanciful building tourist trap since the Sky Pool—is part of a larger Skyspace that Gensler is building out. The 70th-floor observation deck looks tasteful: For the $25 price of the ticket, visitors will get an unparalleled view of Los Angeles. For another $8, they can willingly throw themselves through a trap door into a glass-enclosed nightmare.
For all the anxiety that the Skyslide gives me, it is not the worst slide-based building project anyone’s ever proposed. That honor still belongs to London.