Former Sony Pictures Building’s Revamped Glass Atrium Design Includes Digital Media Experience

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The One Culver digital display is an integrated interior-facing media experience designed to activate LBA Realty’s revamped glass atrium design at the former Sony Pictures Building in Culver City, California. Suspended above the light-filled main entrance, the One Culver display addresses Gensler’s stepped communal terrace. Rising from the atrium floor, the terraces reimagined how people inhabit this space, injecting new rhythm into the atrium with the media display acting as a dynamic digital hearth.

Nominating Company: StandardVision (SV), Los Angeles, California
Venue: One Culver, Los Angeles, California
Project: One Culver
Category: Corporate Environments

BACKGROUND
Located in the heart of downtown Culver City at the former Sony Studios complex, One Culver underwent an exciting renovation in 2018, led by world-renowned Gensler & Associates and OJB Landscape Architects to transform the iconic property into a premier mixed-use development. The atrium’s digital display is the physical manifestation of One Culver’s transformation into a forward-looking technology-centric mixed use development by allowing tech-savvy tenants a platform for experimentation, branding, presentation and appreciation of the quarterly curated video-art events.

At 55 feet wide by 16.5 feet tall, the 907-square-foot One Culver display was completed in early 2018 and utilizes two 5-millimeter display technologies to embrace the architectural space-frame within the atrium. A central ‘hero’ section made of lightweight LED tiles maintains a content-friendly 16:9 canvas, while the edges utilize skinny FX-modules at variable spacing to enlarge the display’s presence and create a more harmonious integration with the expansive light-filled atrium.

CHALLENGES
There were three interesting challenges present at One Culver: 1) engaging the architecture on a west-facing, light-filled wall without creating the typical ‘big black box’. 2) navigating the existing structural space-frame without fundamental modifications. And 3) maximizing experiential impact within the expansive atrium volume without exceeding the client’s budget.

Inhabiting such a voluminous and light-filled atrium provided an interesting opportunity to explore different technology types and optimize light from and through the screen. One Culver needed to maintain visibility and contrast, while embracing the aesthetic of a floating veil of media that maintained the client’s budget.

Utilizing the existing structure, SV and Nabih Yousef Associates needed to ensure allowable loads were not exceeded, and they also needed to devise a way of elegantly transferring loads that were 60 feet across to the primary verticals at the far left and right extents of the display.

SOLUTIONS
SV balanced media visibility in front of massive west-facing glass without creating a gigantic black box that destroys a vibrant communal space by designing a central broadcast area whose edges are gradually eaten away as module gaps expand and natural light permeates from behind. This gracefully blurs light, building and media.

This expanded feathering was accomplished by StandardVision’s unique high-brightness display product, the FXS, which blends the high-resolution capability of traditional solid tiles with the design and integration efficiency of transparent blade or stick systems. The FXS flexibility proved critical in threading the needle between aesthetic, budgetary and programmatic factors, and is SV’s latest tool for turning project constraints into design opportunities.

A tailored structural solution was developed between StandardVision and Nabih Youssef Associates to distribute new loads into the existing space-frame through custom steel embedments and a 16-foot truss, which allow large uninterrupted spans above the entry doors.

RESULTS
One Culver engages the walkable urban experience of Culver City with a site animated by state-of-the-art media walls, natural light, stunning architecture, and fluid indoor/outdoor spaces that bring people together to collaborate and innovate. Beyond its physical attributes, the display will allow technology-savvy tenants to test content, branding deployments and presentations within the framework of StandardVision’s dynamic video art program that represents the diverse array of artistic talents within Los Angeles.

A collaboration with PlanNet was also instrumental in connecting the digital display with building audio systems and a presentation mode to allow for scheduled tenant takeover of the screen. These intuitive UI points allow access into StandardVision’s Runner CMS that offers extensive parametric programming capabilities for customized day-to-day operation or unique one-off events. This programming flexibility has already proved successful to the client, LBA, in attracting tech-savvy tenants looking towards the future of digital collaboration.

One Culver won a 2019 APEX Award in the Corporate Environments category.

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