The new corporate headquarters for Davie-Brown Entertainment--a full service entertainment marketing company with expertise in four primary areas: Entertainment Promotions, Product Placement, Celebrity Relations, and Strategic Alliances—satisfies the client’s request to create a singular signature environment in which all facets of the company function under one roof. Formerly, Davie-Brown Entertainment occupied two separate office spaces: a typical, low ceiling, featureless office on the third floor of a Santa Monica high rise and a cramped warehouse space for props and products several miles away adjacent to the Santa Monica Freeway.
The program for this project called for the renovation of 10,000 SF in an existing industrial warehouse building in West Los Angeles. The design needed to accommodate a 2700 SF Prop Center, executive offices, staff and client offices, a conference room, product display, and a dressing room for client’s visiting the company to try on apparel by corporations represented by Davie-Brown. The project was realized within extremely tight budgetary and time constraints. Occupation of the space took place only sixteen weeks after commencement of design.
The design for DBE developed around the need to create two distinct zones without jeopardizing fluidity of space, coherence of design, and smooth, functional communication overall. While enjoying a high powered presence in the entertainment industry, DBE is a corporation that thrives on an open, informal, collaborative work environment. The design responds to, expresses and facilitates these qualities. A simply defined, 13’-6" high rectangular bar containing offices below and mezzanine storage above, divides the 10,000 SF warehouse into two distinct divisions. The prop center occupies 2700 SF to one side of this volume, while the other elements of the program unfold along the other side. The prop center remains as an open warehouse space with access to the large roll-up garage door that fronts the service entrance to the building. The space was designed as a blank tableau which would come to life with the colorful and diverse props that are warehoused there: Pepsi soda pop machines, neon signs, cases of potato chips, Miller beer bottles, cellular phones and Sony playstations, for example. Contained within its own, rough-and-ready environs, the prop center warehouse is never detached or closed off from the other areas of Davie-Brown’s corporate headquarters. The 13’-6" high volume provides ample functional and visual separation yet leaves circulation passages at either end that allow an ease of movement from warehouse zone to office zone.
The main office zone of Davie-Brown was driven by the desire to maintain a maximum amount of open space at the center of the building. This main space acts as a kind of piazza around which all activities unfold: clients pass through, staff traverse not constrained to densely organized space devoid of a social or public gathering opportunities. Visual corridors from one end of the space to the other are left unobstructed. A sense of spaciousness offers a completely different experience from the company’s former headquarters. A 20’ long, brilliant blue kitchen/café island sits astride one side of the space, while feature elements: a 12’ high hourglass shaped, metal clad conference room and a 14’ high shrink wrapped, twisting and torqueing steel frame dressing room act as sculptural objects in an otherwise open field.
Enclosed executive offices, semi-enclosed staff offices and open landscape workstations are strategically positioned around the perimeter of the building. The primary executive offices occupy a band of previously existing offices along the front elevation of the building. Framing remained, dropped acoustical ceilings were removed and the offices were resurfaced with two layers of palm sanded plexiglass. This achieved an economy of means without a loss of effect. Light from the perimeter windows broadcasts deep into the heart of the space via the translucent wall material. Another line of offices sits astride an otherwise featureless party wall. These offices are defined by the two-ply translucent corrugated fiberglass wall that meanders under a continuous soffit that unifies this series of spaces with a bigger core volume at their tail end and ultimately ties the entire space together. Open landscape workstations made of corrugated sheet metal, homosote and powder-coated mdf, act as bookends to the main open space. The 50’-0" long 13’-6" high rectangular boundary volume provides a large display wall on which DBE exhibits many of their most treasured props and product displays.
A restrained use of materials: plexiglass, fiberglass, steel, gypsum board and paint created Davie Brown Entertainment’s new headquarters. The design evolved with a desire to create a rich environment that would respond to the client’s needs while also allowing the content of their work to animate the space as an integral aspect of the design.