Work on Emerson College's new campus in Hollywood is motoring along ahead of schedule (it first started in January 2012)--from Sunset, you can now see the outlines of Morphosis's contorting design, which is set to rise 10 stories when it's all finished by the end of this year. (Boston-based Emerson has run an LA program for decades, but this will be their first dedicated facility and it'll house both classrooms and dorms, along with a groundfloor cafe that'll be open to the public. Their current space is in Burbank.) Curbed got a tour of the worksite last week. Let's start at the bottom: the building will have three levels of parking underground and one level on the first floor (with a total 248 spots)--zoning required a fair dose of parking despite the site's Red Line-adjacency; the project will also have car sharing onsite, plus bike parking and stuff like bike hooks in the dorm rooms. Morphosis's Shanna Yates tells us that currently something like 98 percent of Emerson students in LA have cars, so hopefully that number will be reduced when the program moves to Hollywood.
Many of the spaces on the front of the building will have glass fronts--that includes the groundfloor cafe, and, up above, conference rooms and case study rooms that'll be all wired into the Boston campus. The entryway/lobby will be on the second floor and open up to a terrace; while anyone will be able to come into the building, the school will have 24-hour security. The second floor will have screening and mixing rooms--they'll be "rooms within rooms" to provide total isolation from outside noise and light--plus an assembly room, a black box performance studio, and a back terrace for hosting classes or events. The third floor will have classrooms and audio and computer labs. Floor four will house a fitness center and fitness rooms, study rooms, and a laundry room. The fifth floor will have dorms and a big shared kitchen and lounge area that'll open up (via glass wall) to a terrace that meets up with one of the bridges connecting the building's two towers (there's also another fifth-floor bridge toward the front of the building). The building's skin will all be a metallic gray color, but will vary in texture; there'll be sunshades that move to change the light throughout the day.
Emerson is in search of a director for the LA program now and plans to have someone picked out by July. Besides being a center for students and alums (there are about 40,000 in the LA area), the school also hopes it'll become a space for public/city/cultural events. About 100 students will move in for spring 2014; it'll be at its full 220-student capacity starting in fall 2014.
· Emerson College Archives [Curbed LA]