Photography by Iwan Baan
Boston-based Emerson College will unveil its new Los Angeles facility designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis on March 8. Located on Sunset Boulevard, Emerson Los Angeles (ELA) integrates student housing and academics into one setting that takes advantage of its Hollywood location.
“The building is designed to expand the interactive, social aspect of education,” Mayne said in a statement. “We focused on creating with the broader community in mind—both in terms of public space and sustainable design.”
A helistop connects two slender glass-enclosed residential towers to create a 10-story square frame enclosing a flexible outdoor room, while an undulating metal scrim spans the full height of the facility’s interior and provides shade to multilevel terraces and exterior corridors. The towers surround a sculpted form that houses learning spaces and administrative offices for the communications and arts school.
Screens, sound, and lighting are incorporated into the façade’s metal framework, acting as a stage for film screenings and industry events. High-tech spaces include an audio post-production suite, a screening room, computer labs, mixing suites, and a planned green-screen motion-capture stage.
Designed to LEED Gold standards, the school employs a number of sustainable features. These include a sun shading system that adapts to changing weather conditions, recycled and renewable construction materials, a glass curtain wall that minimizes heat gain, solar panels, and efficient fixtures.