Viacom’s New Headquarters Are Helping to Shape a Neighborhood’s Dream of Becoming the Ultimate “Urban ‘Burb.”
To live, work, and create all in the same place is not only a growing ambition for today’s millennials, it’s also part of an ongoing Hollywood renaissance with Sunset Boulevard at the epicenter.
Long a historic Los Angeles landmark due to its status as birthplace of studios like Paramount, CBS, Warner Bros., and Columbia Pictures, both Hollywood and the industry it once housed are coming together again as part of a new movement to re-establish its old footprint and the creative community it once sustained.
At the center of this is Viacom’s new West Coast headquarters. Situated in Columbia Square, the former home of CBS Studios, Viacom’s 210,000-square-foot facility boasts the original modernist design that first made the space a landmark almost 80 years ago. But what’s happening behind the scenes is most reflective of a growing movement: the idea of creating an “Urban ‘Burb” that brings new innovation and people together in livable and workable neighborhoods outside of a city’s center.
While Columbia Square is answering this demand by offering up a variety of restaurants and upscale residential housing, Viacom is tackling the collaborative aspects by bringing eight of its major brands—including MTV, Comedy Central, BET, VH1, Spike, TV Land, CMT, and Logo—all under one roof.
“For Viacom, the opening of this new office is more than a bigger space and an open floor plan,” says Viacom CEO Bob Bakish. “This new Hollywood facility reinforces our presence in the world’s entertainment capital, connecting us more deeply with the creative community.”
Designed with creativity, innovation, and collaboration in mind, Viacom’s new West Coast headquarters was constructed to encourage inspiration by giving employees the opportunity to effortlessly engage beyond the typical office constructs. With indoor and outdoor working spaces, coffee bars, foosball tables, production studios, and a green room and makeup room, the lines between corporate and campus are blurred, fueling the notion that great ideas are often fostered outside a structured environment.
With the days of a strict studio system long behind us, and the notion of inclusion and accessibility acting as an important motivator behind Hollywood’s latest evolution, Viacom is poised to become more than just a partner in this LA neighborhood’s historic path to reinvention—it’s helping to usher in a new era in which an employee’s creative output can easily extend from the backlot to their own backyard.
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ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID HEATLEY