Here’s an update on the construction project at NoHo’s Television Academy
We’ve seen the construction at the Television Academy and are anxiously awaiting its completion. For more background on the construction project, here’s a recent interview by features writer Chavonny Tillotson.
Here’s an update on their progress.
The Academy is closing in on completion of this $30 million building (the focus of the $40 million New Destination Campaign, which also includes a robust endowment for the educational Foundation).
“Part of the impetus for the new building was that our industry is still in the midst of a revolution and we needed a space that reflected that,” said Maury McIntyre, Television Academy president and COO.
“We’re in an age where people can not only watch and engage with their favorite shows pretty much anywhere and anytime, but they can also tell their own stories, create their own shows, and distribute them to a wide audience. Never before has television been this personalized – for both the audience and the storyteller. “
With its clean lines and windowed surfaces, the new Academy building will be a place where members can see themselves and their ideas reflected, both literally and figuratively.
As construction continues for an opening in early 2016, the Academy looks not only to continue programs that honor television’s legacy but also launch new programs that talk about where the medium is going. That plan is embodied in the ahead-of-the–curve new building.
The centerpiece of the new 30,000 square-foot Media Center is a reconstructed state-of-the-art Goldenson Theatre, outfitted with full digital connectivity and streaming capability and featuring stadium seating and up-to-date audio and video formats, including 4K and 3D projection, as well as a proscenium stage and green room.
A new Governors Room conference center offers a smart space for smaller gatherings and professional development programs. The space will also include a pocket studio to produce new digital content, an editing suite, as well as new office and meeting spaces for the Academy Foundation’s employees and interns.
The building is, in many ways, the physical embodiment of the Academy’s move not only to embrace the industry’s future but to play an active role in it.
“We want to be more prevalent in the industry, represent more members’ voices and do so on a regular basis,” McIntyre said.
Being forward-thinking is a hallmark of the Academy, and being so means more than the broad-stroke stuff. It means considering every detail of engagement and production. The new Academy building is no exception.
When designing the modernist building, Lee Pasteris, design director for the global design firm Gensler, worked in collaboration with Fred Dagdagan, lead designer for F. Dagdagan Design, and they paid close attention to the fine points of the new space.
For example, the new theater not only contains up-to-the-minute technology, the designers also considered features that may register as more low-tech, like entries and exits. “I’m really excited about the overall plan, and the indoor and outdoor connection,” said Lee Pasteris. The modern structure boasts clean lines throughout, greater infusion of natural light and a sense of flow for employees, members and visitors. “All of the spaces are more transparent,” Pasteris said.
In their design, Pasteris and Dagdagan considered the Academy’s many large gala events–the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Los Angeles Area Emmys, the College Television Awards and more—and how 600 people will enter and exit the new theater, as well as how they will dine and celebrate outdoors. The first floor’s grand lobby area opens onto the building’s main plaza, where a dinner for hundreds may be held.
“The first level is very transparent [with a full view of the outdoors],” allowing for an elegant flow between the interior and exterior, Pasteris noted.
A circular drive, centered on the Academy’s Emmy statue as its focal point, will allow for graceful drop-off and entry process, as well as the extraordinary Red Carpet events that the Television Academy is known for.
Beyond red-carpet functions, Pasteris said the design team considered the needs for each user – from an event attendee to an individual office user to a sight-seeing group.
The latter group, for example, may find itself in the Hall of Fame courtyard, where the Academy’s famed busts of TV greats will be found. “Giving those a space really helps build a strong historical connection,” Pasteris said, comparing the busts to Hollywood Boulevard’s signature star-tiled Walk of Fame.
And while the Academy honors the past, the future is its focus. The new second floor workspaces offer comfortable spaces for Foundation employees and a technology training center for interns, College Television Award winners, and emerging storytellers, who represent the industry’s next generation. The building’s design and modern amenities are inspiring the Academy to develop ever more programs for members and for the public to get people thinking.
“The improvements mimic and reflect the evolution of our industry and who we are – thought leaders in our industry – so this building will enable many of our dreams to become reality, as we plan our future,” McIntyre said.
“Every room now will have broadcast capabilities, where before we did not,” McIntyre said. “We want to continue to celebrate and honor excellence in our industry but also talk about where TV is going, how it changes and evolves and what it does for society.”
There are certainly many possibilities to look forward to, and many things that – excitingly – have not even been thought of yet.
“The Television Academy is building a home not only worthy of our organization’s future, but the future of the industry as well,” McIntyre said.
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