Gehry Partners references icebergs and Hollywood for Warner Bros building

  • by

LA architecture studio Gehry Partners has completed the extension of media company Warner Bros’ headquarters in Burbank, which juxtaposes two distinctive facade styles.

Called Second Century Burbank, the Gehry Partners-designed complex contains additional offices and studios for the headquarters, which is flanked by a major highway and the studio lot.

Its name marks the celebration of the film studio’s second hundred years of operation.

Gehry Partners has created a building for Warner Bros in Burbank

Second Century Burbank is divided into two large blocks connected by a two-storey volume that is topped by a landscaped courtyard. The offices and studios are intended for use by Warner Bros and its potential tenants.

For the facades, Gehry Partners married two distinct designs. The first consists of sloping curtain walls with a white frit.

These are used across the building’s highway-facing elevations and have an “icy white appearance” intended to evoke the form of icebergs.

It features two distinct facade styles

On the side facing the studio lot, these curtain walls are interspersed with steel facades with punched windows modelled on the art deco-style buildings of early Hollywood.

“For the glass facades, we adopted the image of icebergs for the dynamic angled geometry of their vertical faces,” Gehry Partners told Dezeen.

The glass facades are based on icebergs

“As a counterpoint, we imagined metal volumes embedded within the crystalline glass forms,” the studio continued.

“We wanted the articulation of the metal facades to convey a historic industrial feel, a throwback to Hollywood’s bygone era when the architecture of the movie studios symbolized the grandeur of their ambitions.”

There are landscaped areas outside

Beyond these references, the different facade types also indicate the interior programmes.

The glass sections house the more collaborative workplaces while the metal sections contain the more private executive offices.

A terrace features on the third floor

Gehry Partners’ design also responds to the structure’s proximity to the busy highway.

On the south end of the building’s sloping site, the curtain wall is designed to minimise noise from the motorway while providing visual interest for drivers.


Frank Gehry’s long-awaited Ocean Avenue Project in Santa Monica finally approved

“This is where the image of the iceberg is most visible, and where the visual effect of the fractured geometries of the iceberg work best,” said the studio.

“Carefully choreographed, the movement and rhythm of the faceted angled walls have been designed with an eye to how it is perceived from a moving car,” it continued.

Punched windows are based on art deco-style Hollywood buildings

The other side of the structure is more geared towards pedestrians, with landscaped spaces by OJB Landscape Architecture directly outside of the building. These are complete with paths that meander through groves of mature trees and shrubs.

Inside, Gehry Partners designed the floors to be flexible and in a variety of sizes to accommodate the needs of different tenants. Warner Bros contracted international architecture studio NBBJ for the interior fit-outs.

It has terraces on the upper floors

The first two levels stretch across both blocks, while the third includes the rooftop terrace of the smaller structure.

Nearer the ground floor, the ceilings are higher with large expanses of glass. The ceilings are slightly lower on the upper floors, but outdoor terraces open them to the outside.

Consideration was given to how the building would appear to motorists

The building features three floors of subterranean car parking, alongside bike storage and water reclamation facilities used for cooling towers. Photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof.

Gehry Partners was founded by architect Frank Gehry in 2001. The studio is the architect behind the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles and it recently completed a pair of skyscrapers called The Grand in the city.

The photography is by Tim Hursley

Project credits:

Architecture: Gehry Partners; Frank Gehry (partner in charge), Tensho Takemori (managing partner), David Nam (design partner), Heather Waters (project architect), Meaghan Lloyd (partner/chief of staff)
Curtain wall: Curtain Wall Design & Consulting, INC.
Structural consultant: Englekirk
Civil engineer: Psomas
Elevator consultant: HKA Elevator Consulting, Inc.
Facade access consultant: Lerch Bates
Lighting consultant: Kaplan Gehring McCarroll
MEP/FP engineer: ARC Engineering
Landscape architect: OJB Landscape Architecture
Acoustical consultant: Newson Brown
Code consultant: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.
Hardware consultant: Finish Hardware Technology
Contractor: Krismar Construction

The post Gehry Partners references icebergs and Hollywood for Warner Bros building appeared first on Dezeen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.