Friday, February 28 2014

The Evolution of the MGA Entertainment campus plan


KFA is pleased to be working with MGA Entertainment on their new 24 acre corporate campus in Chatsworth. The new MGA headquarters building, a former LA Times printing facility, will be surrounded by 4 buildings containing 700 units, retail and parking. Key to the design is the connective tissue, which ties the campus together. Various nodes, each comprised of different social zones and unique amenities, define the character of the immediate locale and are connected by landscaped pedestrian paths. Woven through the perimeter of the project is a trail that is both a promenade and an exercise path, landscaped with canopy trees, native shrubs and drought tolerant grasses which connect the campus to the surrounding natural landscape.

The campus has three main entry points along the perimeter: the Winnetka entry, the Transit Plaza entry at Prairie, and the Retail Plaza entry. Each node organizes a connection between the surrounding neighborhood and the project, establishing a hierarchy of integration into the community and within the campus. Vehicular access is designed to transition quickly to the parking areas, and to further mitigate the visual impact of parking structures throughout the site, housing units and amenities discreetly wrap the structure facades. Circulating from the campus Transit Plaza, a shuttle provides residents and employees linkage to regional transit centers, and a new bicycle lane ties into the existing L.A. City bike lane.

Central to the project is the MGA Corporate Headquarters, which will house production, light industrial and creative office space, and include a day care/learning center for MGA employees and residents. Large, sweeping graphic fins added to the façade provide employees and residents a striking greeting at the Entry Plaza. Anchoring the Plaza is a stepped amphitheater, which climbs the parking garage and breaks into terraced landscaped plateaus, connecting the Plaza with the mountain-view amenities on the garage roof – a clubhouse, pool, sports courts and the Community Gardens Park.

Other nodes distributed throughout the site include the Sun Plaza, featuring a pool, gym, BBQ area and kitchen garden. Citrus trees, planted between the fins of the MGA building, add color and fragrance along the sidewalk connecting the Sun Plaza and MGA Plaza. The Village Green utilizes an existing lawn and offers a picnic area, tot lot and movie night projection screen against the wall of the MGA building. The Retail Plaza’s shaded paseo connects directly to the pedestrian crosswalk, tying the campus to existing retail across Winnetka.

In addition to the MGA Headquarters, four other campus buildings, comprising almost 1,000,000 SF, open out into the community to define the street edges, but also turn inward to define campus spaces. The buildings tie to each other thematically, incorporating the quiet natural palette of the surrounding hillsides mixed with playful bursts of color and texture. The buildings act to frame exterior “rooms” throughout the site, emphasizing the organizing nodes that connect the campus into a unified whole.