Case study: Inside the building of an LA skyscraper with Doka

30 October 2023

Doka details the challenges and solutions of working on the Alloy, a 36-story skyscraper with a six-story parking and mixed-use structure

Doka USA, provider of formwork and safety solutions, details Doka’s participation in the build of an innovative skyscraper in Los Angeles.

Nestled on the western edge of the 4th Street Bridge, the Alloy skyscraper stands within Los Angeles’ Historic Arts District. This towering edifice boldly ascends at a striking 45-degree angle from its foundation, crafting an exceptional architectural masterpiece that contributes a layer of intricacy to this remarkable endeavor.

Doka utilized various wall, slab, climbing formwork and safety solutions for the Alloy skyscraper project in Los Angeles. (All photos: Doka)

The development unfolds as a harmonious blend of a five-story commercial edifice seamlessly intertwined with a soaring 36-story residential tower. Elevating itself above a multi-level parking complex, the tower dramatically rests upon six tiers, three of which are below-grade. A large parking expanse offers a generous capacity of 748 parking spaces, each meticulously planned around 103 distinct columns, with 72 columns boasting unique dimensions. These parking facilities are designated to serve the needs of both the expansive 105,000 square feet of office space and the 475 residential units.

In crafting Alloy, the designers drew inspiration from the robust grids characteristic of the district’s historic warehouses and factories. The structure boasts distinctive concrete elements, showcasing board-formed walls, columns, beams, and soffits that grace the lobby at street level. Notably, an ornate ribbed architectural wall adorns the northern façade, which gazes out upon the majestic 4th Street Bridge. In total, the ambitious project commands the placement of over 70,000 cubic yards of concrete, a testament to its grandeur and architectural ambition.

The Challenges

This project involved multiple structures and project organization while on a tight schedule. Both the material procurement and design had tight deadlines and coordination was necessary with both local companies and support groups, such as engineering. Another challenge was managing multiple contracts for many contractors and suppliers on this large project.

Building Alloy called for the use of a hydraulic unit for automatic climbing core formwork and a specialized shoring to meet all unique shapes of the project’s plan. Continuous team coordination was vital for multiple structures needing formwork / shoring solutions, including:

On the Alloy project, crews integrated loading platforms into the protection screen for inbound and outbound loading of equipment.
  • Columns
  • Foundation walls
  • Office core (Area 1 & 2)
  • Office shoring
  • Podium slab shoring (Area 1 & 2) with high decks, Level 2
  • Podium level shear walls
  • Shoring for parking garage P3 through L3
  • Protection screens
  • Residential tower shoring
  • Tower core
The Solution

The solution for Alloy involved using a hydraulic unit for Super Climber SCP automatic climbing core formwork and a specialized Superdek shoring to efficiently meet all the unique shapes of the project’s complex plan. Doka’s Top50 core and shear wall formwork provided fast formwork setting in multiple uses and locations. By using Doka, Alloy had a full package solution from one vendor, which saved time on contractual and administrative tasks and ensured smooth job progression. Doka was chosen because they provided a fair price and competitive solution for all formwork needs for Alloy. It was an additional advantage that Doka’s pre-assembling services were complemented by the provided field service assistance.

In the end, the result is a striking development that’s considered “destination retail” with inspired design and creative offices.

With the SuperClimber system, the formwork is suspended and secured from gantry beams, which allows for easy access of the form face for cleaning and applying form-release agent.
The Facts

Project Name: Alloy

Location: 520 Mateo St., Los Angeles, Calif.

General Contractor: Carmel Partners

Concrete Contractor: Largo Concrete

Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Developer: Carmel Partners

Type of structure: High Rise, Residential & Commercial

Height: 390ft

Stories: Residential Tower (36 levels); Parking and Mixed-use (6 levels)

Cycle time: At Residential Tower, cycling is as follows:

Core: 5 days

Shoring: 5 days

Sq. Ft: Residential Tower (105,000sf); Parking and Mixed-use (100,000sf)

Construction time: August 2022 — Q4 2023

Products used:

  • Core: Super Climber Platform (SCP), Top 50, Telescopic shaft platform, MF240
  • Facade: Protection Screen
  • Reshoring: Eurex prop, Super Prop
  • Shoring: Superdek, Dokaflex, 10kip
  • Other: Frami (foundation walls, columns), Concremote (monitoring)


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Euan Youdale Editor Tel: +44 (0)1892 786 214 E-mail: [email protected]
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