US: Nancy Keatinge and Stanley Felderman, principals of Felderman Keatinge + Associates (FKA) architectural design firm in Los Angeles have completed the LA offices for television production company Shine Group, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
The space lies in a 38,000 square foot landmark building in Hollywood and features a red brick façade and exposed structure, with steel framed windows. Its undisciplined ductwork and mechanical systems give the three-floor interiors an ad-hoc feel.
The architects describe the office as “a young peoples’ space,” a flexible atmosphere that allowed the employees to imprint their own styles, preferences, and working patterns upon it, ‘to lay back and put their feet up’, or to stay overnight to meet deadlines.
White laminate furniture over fin-ply (plywood) created a neutral, clean palette, simplifying the space and clearing away visual clutter. Ambient task-light fixtures with a retro, 50s look reflect the original building, evoking the glamour of old Hollywood while answering the needs of the modern workspace.
With the fluctuation in staff numbers, FKA designed custom-made furniture and used moveable privacy panels for flexible changes, without rearranging the furniture.
The north and south wings of the office are separated by a light-filled courtyard, formerly a motor courtyard, now closed off and filled with palm trees and plants, acting as an outdoor eating area and the main social area of the premises.
The designers landed the project due to an introduction by Curtis Stone, a celebrity chef on one of Reveille’s shows (part of the Shine Group), for whom FKA had already done some work. “Curtis asked that we be included and they interviewed 10 firms [for the project],” said Felderman.
He said the firm already had a history of designing entertainment projects for Disney, MTV Networks, Universal, as well as providing the branding for these companies and others.
“FKA is known for providing a lot of design for the money and for being very strong in planning,” he added. “The client fell in love with this 50s landmark building in Hollywood, and we attempted to keep as much of the existing structure intact. The challenge was for the client to fit into the space,” said Keatinge.
The client had previously been housed in numerous bungalows on the backlot of Universal Studios, with no sense of who or where they were, so the challenge was to bring them together under one roof, creating a sense of connectivity, continuity and community between the different departments, according to Keatinge.
“We wanted them to feel like they were a part of a bigger company. We also wanted to create a space that was highly functional,” she added.
The designers faced additional challenges, where the timeframe was tight as Shine Group had to move from its existing location, the budget was controlled, and the programme kept changing.
The client asked FKA to create a space with an entertainment vibe, a young identity and one with colour.
“The custom furniture itself does not expand and contract. The privacy panels can be repositioned and adjusted on the stations if you are adding additional employees. If you need more privacy the panel sizes/heights are interchangeable,” said Felderman.
The design firm selected contemporary reproductions of lighting used in the 50s when the building was built. The lighting fixtures look authentic, but have today’s required output.