IHeartMedia: 2015 BoY Winner for Large Media/Tech Office
MTV Networks and Century 21 Real Estate have owed a lot of their success to Robert Pittman. He’s now CEO of IHeartMedia, the agglomeration of radio stations and billboards. And its plain-vanilla New York satellite office was going to need a revamp and an expansion before headquarters could move there from San Antonio. So Pittman leased two additional levels in the same glass tower, bringing total square footage to 75,000, and reached out to one of his Burning Man buddies, art and design consultant Michael Beneville. It was Beneville, in turn, who helped select A+I principals Brad Zizmor and Dag Folger.
Their marching orders were to strip everything, then leave it raw. Standing out against the roughness are tidy pods in various colors and sizes for a variety of functions. Beneville’s masterpiece is the interactive entry sequence, a tunnel of radio love where visitors serve as the tuning dial while striding toward reception. Passing bodies trip the invisible infrared beams that emanate from fixtures installed above the floor, every 12 inches or so. The interrupted beams instruct rows of white LEDs to shift to red and hidden speakers to start playing successive IHeartRadio stations. The result is a blur of sound that, if you pause, can resolve into a single, intelligible audio line: top 40, urban, country.
Project Team: Architecture + Information: Todd Stodolski; Aaron Whitney; Tony Moon; Rachel Bullock; Alan Calixto. Beneville Studios: Camille Purdy; Shawn Waite; Jackie Ivy; Rotem Shachar; Kevin Centanni; Henry Chang; Sean Crowley; Andrew Eksuzian; Eleonora Gomez Baas; Ashley Baker.