Santa Monica, CA
Santa Monica Animation Studio
Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio has recently completed an adaptive reuse of a 1940s bowstring truss and brick warehouse in Santa Monica. The 17,000 square foot building was artistically designed for a well-known animation studio that has recently achieved significant commercial success. Urban Studio designed an interior renovation that is warm, forthright and efficient, while also elegant and inspiring.
Red cedar was really the first and only choice for the project during design. We wanted something timeless and clean, and in addition red cedar is warm and inviting. It immediately puts people who walk into the space at ease. We had a spectacular, existing, wood ceiling with bow-trusses spanning nearly one hundred feet, and wanted to compliment that with a similar kind of powerful and natural presence.
In the executed project, the story of the cedar is the thing that people take away. The space is essentially glass and drywall painted white, but you can see the cedar cube from nearly everywhere and that is the resonant memory that people have of being there.
The client mentioned ecological responsibility in the very first meeting. Given the existing building and climate in Santa Monica, we knew that we would have natural light and air. We wanted a wood that had a conservation status of low risk. Logistically, the price was right, installation was fast and not at all fussy, and we wanted something that could be used inside and out. Everybody loved how in ten years it will look even better than it does now.
See Video of project:
Location: Santa Monica, CA, US
My Role: Design Architect
Additional Credits: Andy Waisler