Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Big Sunset Bronson Studios Expansion to Break Ground Next Week

Icon at SBS (Image credit: Hudson Pacific Properties)

Hollywood's well documented construction boom continues to surge, as yet another skyline altering project prepares to break ground near the 101 Freeway.  According to Bisnow, local landlord Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) plans to begin work next week on a long-awaited expansion of Sunset Bronson Studios (SBS).  The $150 million development, designed by architectural firm Gensler, will retool the eastern side of the SBS campus with a new parking garage and approximately 400,000 square feet of office and production space.

HPP's expansion project is highlighted by Icon, a 14-story office tower slated for the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue.  The 315,000 square foot structure will stand roughly 200 feet tall, creating a commanding presence above the nearby freeway trench.  An August piece from the Architect's Newspaper describes the building as featuring "five rectangular, stacked volumes, offset horizontally to create exterior terraces."  Facade elements will variate between precast panels and a glass curtain wall, breaking down the tower's broad, imposing scale.

Moving south from Sunset Boulevard, the project will include two new buildings of a lower height profile.  The first, a five-story production building, will contain 90,000 square feet of production office space and a ground-level cafe.  The second, a seven-story garage, will rise adjacent to the production building and offer parking accommodations for 1,600 vehicles.

Gensler's design for the project attempts to maintain architectural harmony with the campus's numerous historic structures.  The 150-foot KTLA radio antenna, a well-known local landmark, will be moved to its original location on Bronson Avenue to make room for Icon.  The plan also gives several nods to the SBS Executive Office Building, a charming colonial edifice which once housed the headquarters of Warner Brothers.  The new office tower will feature an offset above its third floor, so as to match the eave line of its historic neighbor.  Other tributes to the 1920s structure include decorative free-standing columns, a masonry fence line, and a landscaped setback along Sunset Boulevard.

In stark contrast to most of the Los Angeles region, Hollywood has seen strong demand for new office space in recent years.  In fact, Icon is just one of several speculative developments currently proposed or under construction within the neighborhood.  Four blocks west, developer Kilroy Realty is in the process of transforming CBS Columbia Square into a mixed-use complex with more than 300,000 square feet of creative office space.  At the intersection of Selma Avenue and Vine Street, the J.H. Snyder Company is scheduled to break ground on a long-delayed 112,000 square foot project later this year.  Further down the pipeline, HPP also plans a second office tower for a parking lot on the north side of Sunset Boulevard

Image credit: Gensler via the Architect's Newspaper

Sunset Bronson Studios, outlined in red.


  1. Yippee!. Finally, I will have something new under construction to watch on my walks into Hollywood. So far, the Emerson College was the most interesting building to see get built; but Sunset/Gower Studios has been pretty cool to watch too.

  2. Between the SBS expansion, Columbia Square and Emerson, this stretch of Sunset really seems to be getting the lion's share of LA's good-looking developments.

  3. Van Ness is a very narrow street. Will it be widened? With a high school and middle school next door commuters are going to a have a grand time getting to work

    1. I'm not sure if LADOT has mandated a street widening. Although renderings show the street at its current width.

    2. Unless they take away sidewalk space it's not possible to widen Van Ness. As it is it's a very tight right turn off of Sunset going south.