The first completed project in a string of collaborations with the music and entertainment industry school was a recording studio for the audio engineering program. While functionally equal to a professional studio, the room’s finishes are brighter than in a typical commercial facility, inspired as they are by the youthful optimism and energy of the students. The open and generous layout permits easy teaching and learning in groups gathered around the equipment.

In 1997, after the acquisition of another building adjacent to the school, and concurrently with the planning of a television studio for UTB TV there, a master plan for the complex was developed. This plan and architectural concept attempts to connect and unify an unrelated cluster of buildings into a coherent campus for the school and its affiliated partners.

The project shifts the main access point to the campus from side streets to the more prominent Hollywood Boulevard, and infuses that area with visitor-friendly uses, while greatly increasing the visibility of the school. The newly conceived elements take their inspiration from the eclectic pedestrian mix on the sidewalks, with their famous inlaid stars, and from the main function of the building as a school of rock ‘n’ roll.

The backbone and signature piece of the campus is a new pedestrian bridge, providing access and a recognizable approach to the different areas of the school. Straddling an alley, which now separates the school into two parts, the bridge unifies the campus. A “sky lobby” at the south end of the bridge overlooks the facility while offering a view over the roofs of the neighborhood to the hills in the distance.

In addition to the television station, the former “Panavision” building contains a rehearsal stage and classrooms for the acting school. Its eastern part is the main circulation node in the complex and the connecting point between the various structures.

The courtyard building on Hollywood Boulevard includes a new coffeehouse and serves as the new main entrance to the MI campus. Other planned uses include a gift shop, a reception area to connect the school with the public, and an outdoor stage for live performances in the courtyard.

The vitality of the location and the program are reflected in the dynamic shapes and arrangement of the new parts. The project serves as the catalyst for the transformation and opening up to the public of this established institution, which blends in perfectly with the culture and atmosphere of its surroundings.

building use: music school, acting school, television studio, music recording studio, campus master plan
project scope:    40,000sf; master planning; full architectural services, interiors, acoustics
schedule:  1997-2005
construction cost:         $600,000