Here’s the elevator pitch. Fullscreen is a media start-up that finds potential YouTube talent—youth-oriented, needless to say—then helps produce and distribute their video content. If that’s difficult to wrap your head around, what you really need to know is this: Since the 2011 inception of Fullscreen, the company has exploded. When Rapt Studio signed on to design the Los Angeles headquarters, the employee count was 200. Over the project’s nine-month duration, staff expanded to 300.
The HQ consolidates four previous offices divided between two sites, a short drive apart. “They were all over the place, literally,” Rapt Studio president and design director Sam Farhang explains. Furthermore, the new location was selected for its proximity to YouTube. This scenario allows Fullscreen’s staff to take over as soon as the talent exits YouTube’s video studios and editing facilities. Another factor in Rapt’s programming equation derived from exactly who that talent is, relative to Fullscreen’s employees. While most staff is firmly within the millennial age range, the video-makers themselves skew much younger, from 13 to 18. “The office needed a place for them to perch and hang out. Meanwhile, the talent agents, the in-house creatives, and the tech guys needed a place to work,” Farhang says. So he provided plenty of both types of spaces, plus the accoutrements associated with today’s creative workplace.
“Although content isn’t filmed on-site, Fullscreen is essentially all about storytelling,” he continues. “Our job was to tell the company’s own story.” He started with a completely blank slate, 38,000 square feet of raw space in a brand-new office building. The industrial vernacular of exposed ceilings and concrete flooring was therefore already in place. Cue the coveted fold-up garage doors along the front elevation.
Anyone who uses a garage-door entry to walk into the quadrant of the ground level that he calls the “main lobby experience” will immediately be captivated by a swath of cobalt blue. Front and center, this seductive come-on to content creators entails a sort of amphitheater setup of carpeted seating that, to complete the analogy, faces a “stage” in the form of a bank of video monitors on endless loop. What’s more, the monitors are mounted not on a fixed wall but on an enormous partition that pivots, either semi-enclosing the area beyond or leaving it wide open—that’s the well stocked pantry so de rigueur for millennials. This one pops with school-bus yellow cabinetry, red wire chairs, and of course the ubiquitous pool table. So, where’s the receptionist? Tucked away in a corner by the entry from the building lobby. A desk in white solid-surfacing, subtly CNC-cut with Fullscreen’s logo, is accompanied by a Hella Jongerius sofa and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec chairs, upholstered in dark gray.
Beyond the lobby, the rear of the ground level is given over to benching units in oak and powder-coated steel, designed under Farhang’s personal supervision. “We went for a fully bespoke experience,” he states. The upstairs is populated by four times as many identical workstations. There’s also a smaller pantry, almost entirely cobalt like the amphitheater. On both levels, swanky pieces by the likes of Jean Prouvé or Verner Panton appear in a range of conference rooms and break-out areas. Terraces host alfresco meetings. Believe it or not, though, with all these options, the headquarters was bursting at the seams within six months of completion. For Farhang, it was back to the drawing board.
Project Team: Jeffrey Warren; Sarah Devine; Andrew Ashey; Scott Johnson; Daniela Covarrubias; Ashley Cocilovo: Rapt Studio. Structural Focus: Structural Engineer. ARC Engineering: MEP. MASHstudios: Woodwork. Howard Building Corporation: General Contractor.