September 1, 2012

Leftfield’s Home Run: Perkins + Will Designs Reality TV Company’s New York Office

Budding production companies must grow up eventually. When Leftfield Pictures, creator of the reality-television shows Pawn Stars and Monster In-Laws, needed a serious headquarters to match a growing brand identity, executives meeting with Perkins + Will interior design director Joan Blumenfeld and senior designer Filippo Soave didn’t even have a decent logo to show them. “West arted again from scratch, translating their brand in to a visual identity and color personality,” Blumenfeld says. Soave also helped select the site, a Midtown building with a deco lobby. 

A branded entry sequence lures clients in to the rough-and-ready world of TV ideating, casting, and producing. Rugged paneling of reclaimed wood, punctuated by red painted openings, anchors the Cor-Ten steel reception desk. Next to it, galvanized metal wraps a mysterious bank of soundproof sliding doors, which turn out to belong to edit rooms. An industrial vibe permeates the 24,000-square-foot floor plate—a graffiti wall here, an exposed mushroom column there. It all meshes with Left field’s average staffer age, 27. “They needed to showcase their talent when entertaining clients but retain their youthful energy and creative edge,” Blumenfeld says. Soave adds, “Keeping everyone engaged and happy was critical.” Most of the 150 employees occupy stripped-down work stations with gray fabric panels and plastic-laminate desktops. In Soave’s inspired, efficient floor plan, blocks of these office areas benefit from the four window walls, as do the conference room and the pantry, which provides access to a terrace with a view of the Empire State Building. Still, owner and executive producer Brent Montgomery gets his private corner, an upscale man-cave furnished with leather-covered tufted chesterfields. As with his reality hits, this headquarters succeeds by dint of personality.

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