Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Emerson is renowned for its communication and arts curriculum. Located in the heart of Hollywood, Emerson College Los Angeles (ELA) defines the College’s identity in the center of the entertainment industry and the second largest city in the United States. The new facility establishes a permanent home on Sunset Boulevard for Emerson College’s existing undergraduate internship program that will extend the ELA experience to students studying in any of the seven disciplines that are offered through the School of Communication and the School of the Arts. Additionally, ELA will offer post-graduate, certificate, and professional study programs. The new facility will also host workshops, lectures, and other events to engage with alumni and the LA community.
Bringing student housing, instructional facilities, and administrative offices to one location, ELA condenses the diversity of a college campus into an urban site. Evoking the concentrated energy of East-Coast metropolitan centers in an iconic Los Angeles setting, a rich dialogue emerges between students’ educational background and their professional futures.
Looking to the local context, the center finds a provocative precedent in the interiority of Hollywood film studios, where outwardly regular façades house flexible, fantastical spaces within. With rigging for screens, media connections, sound, and lighting incorporated into the façade’s metal framework, this dynamic visual backdrop also serves as a flexible armature for outdoor performances. The entire building becomes a stage set for student films, screenings, and industry events, with the Hollywood sign, the city of Los Angeles, and the Pacific Ocean in the distance providing added scenery.
Anticipated to achieve a LEED Gold rating, the new center champions Emerson’s commitment to both sustainable design and community responsibility. Wrapping the building’s northwest corner, a green wall underscores the towers’ actively changing exterior skin. Connected to weather stations that track the local climate, temperature, and sun angle, the automated sunshade system opens and closes horizontal fins outside the high- performance glass curtain-wall to minimize heat gain while maximizing daylight and views. Further green initiatives include the use of recycled and rapidly renewable building materials, installation of efficient fixtures to reduce water use by 40%, energy savings in heating and cooling through a passive valence system, and a building management and commissioning infrastructure to monitor and optimize efficiency of all systems.
March 8–March 15, 2014 Emerson College Los Angeles Grand Opening
Environmental Impact: Targeting LEED Gold Certification
Lot Size: 37,351 square feet
Building Height: 130 feet; 10 stories high
Parking: 20,000 square feet (3 levels of subterranean parking with 239 parking spaces)
Housing: Capacity for 217 students: 159 single rooms (8 are designated for resident assistants), 29 double rooms, and 4 faculty/staff apartments
Square Footage: Approximately 107,400 square feet (70,500 residential;
30,100 instructional/administrative; 6,400 retail for Emerson Kitchen)
Instructional Spaces: (6) general purpose classrooms; (1) computer lab; (1) editing lab; (1) audio lab; (1) distance learning room; (2) performance studios; (2) dressing rooms;
(2) study rooms; (1) 4K screening room; (1) large assembly room;
(1) audio post mixing suite
Cost: $85 million