Los Angeles Looks to Spike its Skyline

Los Angeles Fire Code rules requiring helicopter landing zones on the city's high rises has led to one of the most bland skylines in America. As the city updates its fire code, a new working group is seeking to unleash the creativity of designers.
August 26, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Earlier this year, we pointed to an article that explained why the Los Angeles skyline suffers from flat top syndrome. Now comes promising news that the Fire Department may be open to relaxing the requirements for rooftop helicopter landing space, in place since 1974, if enough building safety innovations can be identified by a working group, reports James Brasuell.

"At the request of Fire Chief Brian Cummings, Deputy Fire Chief Mark Stormes has assembled officials from the Fire Department and the Department of Building and Safety, local architects, and public safety consultants to report on possible changes to the regulations," notes Brasuell. "Chief Stormes described the group as a 'bunch of bright people with good ideas in the field of design and structural engineering,' who will hopefully 'do away with the perception that we aren't willing to listen.'"

Although there's reason to believe the helicopter requirement is likely to stay intact in some form, there's optimism that a compromise can be reached to allow for more variation in rooftop articulation.

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Published on Thursday, August 23, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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