Brooks + Scarpa

Brooks + Scarpa

Hawthorne, CA | Fort Lauderdale


Jigsaw Editorial

The film editing profession requires small, dark environments free from distraction and light reflection—in essence, hermetically sealed boxes. Yet at the same time, a film editing company, if it is to be competitive, must exist in a stimulating, socially interactive workspace, alive to workers and clients alike. The challenge here was to transform the interior of a rough 1940’s bow-truss warehouse into an entirely surprising and inventive space. In designing a solution, the architect’s first decision was to treat the building’s warehouse exterior as a kind of envelope within which to locate a large interior public area, which would enclose the warehouse’s smaller rooms. Incorporating the client’s program of offices, library, socializing zones, music rooms and editing rooms, the design creates an unexpected world of public and private space.

The central design elements are the two oblong curvilinear boxes hovering over a large, placid reflecting pool. Hybrids of sculpture and room envelope, the gently curving structures enclose the editing studios and offices. Facing the lobby, the ends present a luminous textured façade, which are revealed on closer inspection to be panels filled respectively with ping-pong balls and acrylic beads. While their materials are unorthodox, the functional result is akin to an Arabic filigreed screen. Bathing the rooms in softly diffused light, they afford the users privacy and minimize distractions while allowing glimpses of the space beyond. The insterstices created between the volumes, undulating over the shimmering plane of water, evoke Venetian canals and Richard Serra’s giant bent steel sculptures. A discreet circular “fountain” sunk into the pool fills the space with soothing sound. Just as the design successfully combines a refined, almost Zen, aesthetic with a playfulness that rejoices in the unexpected discovery, so it creates a delicate balance between a constant flow of movement and casual interaction and a calming, focused workspace.

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Status: Built
Location: Los Angeles, CA, US