Client: CIM Group
Type: Creative Offices
Size: 100,000 SF
Certification: LEED Gold
Comprehensive Development Plan
Formosa South and The Plaza Building are phases one and two, respectively, of The Lot Movie Studios Comprehensive Development Plan. The designs of these two five-story buildings create distinctive office environments that will appeal to entertainment production and media/creative companies alike.
Their envelopes create offsets, corner offices, and a series of ledges and terraces that bring a vitality, scale, and distinctiveness that combats the sterility of typical office settings. The contemporary structures build upon the goal of an urban village by emphasizing pedestrian connections, existing open space, and a sense of scale, making them good neighbors to both existing and future buildings.
Formosa South at the Lot is a LEED® Gold certified, 100,000 square foot, five-story office building, completes the first phase of The Lot Movie Studios Comprehensive Development Plan. The Lot is a historic, independent movie studio located in West Hollywood, CA originally started by legendary actors Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. The scope for the design team was to create a new building and comprehensive growth plan attractive to 21st -century, creative entertainment and media companies while preserving the studio’s historic fabric. The intent of the Formosa South building was to supplement the historic soundstages and small-scale offices with modern facilities appealing to the needs of larger tenants, thus preserving the economic vitality of the studio and attracting/retaining entertainment jobs within West Hollywood.
Formosa South was developed as a speculative office building, without tenants in place during the design phase. In addition, the project was constructed at the tail end of the economic downturn. Those factors demanded that the building be efficient, flexible and compelling. Moreover, it had to meet the stringent demands of historic preservation guidelines and a community concerned about development and density.
The design purposefully preserved the industrial character of the historic entertainment movie lot. Aiming to avoid a corporate, flat aesthetic, portion of the building, pop out boxes emerge from the larger massing. These moves create offsets, corner offices and a series of ledges and terraces bringing vitality, scale and distinctiveness to tenants within. Red façade panels alternate from floor-to-floor around the building referencing the historic Formosa Café down the road.
The Lot Plaza Building
A sweeping front façade serves as a dynamic icon and is punctuated by the ground floor lobby, providing a strong backdrop for a new central, multi-function courtyard. The rectangular volume is manipulated to create offsets, corner offices, and a series of ledges and terraces that avoid the sterility of typical office environments.
In most areas, high-performance glass windows (many of them operable) span the 13 foot floor-to-floor height, providing expansive views and evoking a loft-like feel. The exposed structural concrete frame plays off the imagery of film strips, and the proposed roof-top deck will create a multi-function space that can be used for special events.
The Courtyard Building
The Courtyard Building is Phase 3 of The Lot’s Motion Picture Studios Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP).
The CDP was established to create a unique district, capitalizing on the present movie studio as a major economic use while accommodating the introduction of entertainment-related supporting uses. The massing of the 6-story building is comprised of three stacked volumes that vary in height and orientation to relate to campus context while defining a new plaza that will serve as the heart of The Lot. Combined with the exposed concrete structure, the project creates an attractive office environment for entertainment and media tenants. The ground floor is set back from the upper floors and clad with clear glass and storefront mullions set behind the glass to create a clean, smooth, transparent façade visually linking the plaza and the interior.
Sustainability, community connectivity and energy performance played critical roles in the design of The Lot Courtyard. The client sought not only to maximize views for tenants of The Courtyard, but also to avoid description of neighboring buildings’, leading to a uniquely high window-to-wall ratio. Because of the collaboration between the client, General Contractor and design team, The Courtyard (phase three) benefited from increased budgetary flexibility, supporting more costly high-performance glazing and a VRF system. These two design choices paved the way to a 28 EUI, 35% better than code standards.