March 1, 2010

The Color of Money: LA Advertising Agency 72andSunny’s Office By RA-DA

“I don’t think any of our clients walk into a project without budget restrictions,” RA-DA principal Rania Alomar says with a sigh. No exception to that budgetary rule, 72andSunny is an advertising agency with clients including Bugaboo, Microsoft, and Quiksilver. When the agency outgrew a no-frills office that RA-DA had designed four years before, Alomar returned to locate and renovate larger quarters, namely a brick warehouse in Los Angeles. Armed with $400,000, the architect transformed this 1959 building into a workplace for the 80-person staff.

Other than the concrete floor, brick walls, wooden ceiling, skylights, and restrooms, everything is new. That includes a 1,000-square-foot mezzanine, since the original 9,000 square feet fell short of requirements, and an enclosure for mechanicals and edit bays, which together ate up a chunk of the budget. Alomar then turned primarily to plywood to build different folded shapes. They range from an open, asymmetrical intervention, which anchors the reception desk and a counter for ad hoc meetings, to the closed, rectangular volume housing the conference rooms.

Also important is paint, which she calls a “great way to add interest and define forms without spending a lot.” The reception desk and integral counter are chartreuse. The flight of stairs up to the mezzanine, its sidewall, and the parapets are also chartreuse, which was borrowed from the 72andSunny branding palette. Directly below, the staff kitchen is awash in sky blue, another branding color. Ditto for a swath of concrete floor. Rather than pricey epoxy, though, that’s basic latex floor paint.

Photography by Ralf Strathmann.

Carolyn Telgard (senior designer); Adelia Halim; Jesse Madrid

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