The Culver Studios Innovation Plan / Gensler
Text description provided by the architects. Typically, film studios are divided into a Front Lot and a Backlot. The Front Lot is an administrative workplace while the back lot is more utilitarian with an emphasis on supporting content creation. The master plan for The Culver Studios blurs and blends this distinction between the Front Lot and Backlot. This is done by creating a central in-between space called the Studio Core. This amenity-packed space consists of four new buildings that can function as both administrative workplaces and small studio spaces.
The mixed Studio Core is the heart of The Culver Studios; it serves as a basis for the tenant’s social connectivity and collective engagement. This central common space creates opportunities for new and innovative collaboration within a variety of departments. It starts at the southern edge of the back lawn, giving a transition from the communal scale to a more intimate scale. This corridor serves as circulation, even though it feels like a destination.
It’s filled with pockets that are ideal for quick meetings between friends passing by or impromptu brainstorming sessions between colleagues. Large communal tables provide opportunities to work, eat comfortably or relax. Large trees provide canopy shade for comfort. Modular paving and colored concrete underfoot give linear continuity.
Terraces reinforce the relationship between the mass and the studio core courtyard corridor. The collision of a variety of activities in this central space blurs the distinction between studio production and the communal lifestyle that supports it.
Each building is envisioned to celebrate the massing elements historically rooted in building typologies typical of film studios: pitched and gabled roofs, utilitarian materials and large volumes. They are intended to refer to the earlier historical stages and enhance the characteristic rooftop landscape of the site as seen from the studio and from the surrounding neighborhood.
Other features, such as giant, distinctive “elephant doors” and large-scale openings are part of the industrial language of sound stages reimagined for contemporary use. Buildings have a series of steel-framed windows with a transverse plane of transparent glass above a higher set of translucent glass panes, giving the facade scale and variety.