green_watersedgePlaya Vista, a rapidly growing community on the west side of Los Angeles, California, is home to a mixed-use development incorporating residential, office, commercial, and retail space. When developers Maguire Partners and Equity Office Partners decided to collaborate on speculative office buildings in the area, they used concrete to form both the structure and much of the exterior of Building 2, creating a building that offers energy efficiency, flexible spaces, and a naturally beautiful aesthetic to tenants.

Building 2 of the Water’s Edge at Playa Vista project is four stories tall, offering 45,000 square feet of space per floor. A minimalist aesthetic throughout the building embraces exposed, unpainted concrete enhanced using formwork liners and reveals without increasing costs.

On the exterior, the same aesthetic is given a creative treatment through the use of custom-designed form liners that create contrasting facade patterns. The cast-in-place concrete design minimized cladding needs, keeping exterior cladding strictly glass. Expansive windows allow maximum daylighting and dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean, the Ballona Wetlands, and Marina Del Rey.

Kaz Baba, project designer with the architectural firm of Gensler, said exposed concrete flat plate floor systems and perimeter moment frames reduced overall project costs by reducing the floor to floor height, eliminating skin costs at exposed beams and reducing ceiling costs throughout. The resulting increase in window height and location not only offers more daylighting; it is also a more efficient utilization of the floor to floor height.

For tenants, “that not only adds environmental benefits, but also creates an overall better environment,” Baba said.

Flexible space and large open expanses within the building, in addition to concrete’s excellent thermal mass, help increase heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) efficiency and lower energy costs. That same flexibility makes the building more attractive to potential long-term tenants, contributing to the overall sustainability of the project.

Photo courtesy of EPO & Maguire Properties Equity Office Partners.


Maguire Partners & Equity Office Partners (in joint venture)


Gensler, San Francisco, California

Structural Engineer:

Saiful/Bouquet, Pasadena, California 

General Contractor:

Matt Construction, Santa Fe Springs, California