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Hard Edge, Soft Shell: An Addition to Ayzenberg by Corsini Stark

  • PROJECT NAME Ayzenberg Addition
  • LOCATION Pasadena
  • FIRM Corsini Stark Architects
  • SQ. FT. 4,500 SQF

Today’s ad agencies do it all. Branding, social media, and digital campaigns as well as print, broadcast, and media buys. Ayzenberg Group has handled those tasks for such clients as Activision Publishing, Microsoft, and RedBull—even creating scenarios for the immortal video game of Mortal Kombat.

Corsini Stark Architects became involved with the agency a decade ago when Eric Ayzenberg asked Rick Corsini to renovate an upstairs level of an early 1900’s building in Pasadena, California. A reception area followed. Ayzenberg’s subsequent purchase of the adjacent single-story building found Corsini on-site again. “Ayzenberg was expanding its video-editing arm and needed state-of-the-art bays,” he explains of the project's catalyst.

Overall, work entailed joining the structures while adhering to the established “industrial-creative” vocabulary, Corsini says. He reinvented the storefront of the annex by replacing standard windows with angled frosted glass and painting the masonry an inky purple. Inside, walls were ripped out to make way for a landscape of diagonal planes-either drywall, glass, or tackboard.

Glass-fronted editing bays line up along one sidewall. “Usually, they’re black holes with the editor behind the screen in a Wizard of Oz situation,” Corsini says. “We came up with a solution of triangulated sight lines, which, in turn,led to pentagonal shapes for the rest of the creative, conference, and social spaces.”

Most of the 4,500 square feet in the annex is open. Halfway back, red rubber flooring sets off a break-out area where staff gather to critique current campaigns. The area to the rear is dominated by the boomerang-shape table where the animation group works.

The environment unfolds below existing skylights. Typically an asset, skylights pose problems in super-sunny SoCal. Corsini therefore devised drywall forms and installed fiberglass mesh panels to redirect and diffuse strong rays. So Ayzenberg doesn’t have to do Kombat with them.

Project Resources >>

Project Team:

RS Acoustics: Acoustical Engineer. Charles Tan + Associates: Structural Engineer. NAB Consulting Engineers: MEP. EDVA Construction: Woodwork. Romanoski Glass and Mirror Company: Glasswork.