June 2, 2015

IIDA Award Winner: Wild Card Media by Christopher David Associates

Hayden Tract, a formerly dystopian warehouse district in Los Angeles, is now a showplace for Eric Owen Moss Architects’s stunning conversions. And they’ve become a magnet for all sorts of creative businesses. One is Wild Card Media, a production studio specializing in trailers for such films as Lincoln, American Sniper, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Unbroken. After occupying half of an Eric Owen Moss conversion of a pair of 1940’s warehouses, known for the glass “umbrella” on their roof, Wild Card laid claim to the whole thing. To facilitate the expansion, the company then hired Christopher David Associates—and the result is the winner of the IIDA’s Will Ching competition for commercial design by small firms.

Wild Card now sprawls over 17,000 square feet on both levels. The new screening room alone seats 20, and the café is almost as big. “We had to give them lots of amenities,” director of interiors Edel Legaspi says. Understandably so. Many of the employees are editors working long hours in dark rooms.

To temper the tough architectural language of exposed wooden columns and beams, folded wall planes, and polished concrete flooring, she opted for “a homey loft feeling,” layering on the lounge seating, the table and board games, the flat-screen TVs, and the art books and installations. A spray-painted mural brings some street cred to an office area. A grid of framed movie posters covers a wall in the lounge. For artsier employees, the café’s chalkboard is a blank canvas.

Project Team: Christopher Courts; Talin Vartanian.

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