As the cultural and economic landscape of Los Angeles shifts toward technology, entertainment and digital media, the physical landscape of the city looks to shift as well. In the 1970s and ’80s, downtown Los Angeles experienced a huge building boom that erected many Late Modern and Postmodern skyscrapers, however these spaces are becoming less desirable to new and innovative businesses looking for unique and even unusual spaces.
Robert F. Maguire III was one of the driving forces behind the development of what became the modern downtown skyline more than 30 years ago, and now he stands to be on the edge of another design revolution as he leads the design charge toward unconventional office spaces.
“Smart companies want innovative spaces,” Maguire said to the Los Angeles Times. “Conventional office space is going to have a hard time competing.”
The first area for development on Maguire’s docket is set to be at Playa Vista in the space that was the former headquarters of aviation innovator Howard Hughes. The area has recently become a hub for creative firms centered around technology and entertainment, serving as a Silicon Valley of the south in attracting the likes of YouTube’s headquarters.
Playa Vista’s Innovative Office Campus
Responding to the boom of innovative, young businesses that are flooding the Playa Vista community, Maguire is working on bringing to life a truly unconventional office space. The project in question is set to be called WE3, and would be the third building in Playa Vista’s office campus known as Water’s Edge. Recognizing an early need for this type of space, Maguire began developing the campus back in 2003.
Now that the technology boom is in full swing, Maguire plans to fully realize his tech campus in the twilight of his career. The 79-year-old developer is looking to sell the complex in order to fund the development of the WE3 space, which will feature polished concrete floors, operable windows and 14-foot ceilings, all elements aimed at spurring creativity and innovation. The building’s design is being overseen by architect Zoltan Pali of Studio Pali Fekete Architects, and will feature a vibrant red and blue facade.
“We are coming up with something that is totally different than we are used to building, which is fun,” Maguire said. “When I stop having fun, I won’t do it anymore.”
With the increasing use of technology to run a business, former office mainstays such as the file cabinet and cubicle have fallen by the wayside. Instead, businesses are relying on collaborative, community spaces that enable workers to group together for a project. Some spaces are even creating dog-friendly environments and incorporating mind-freeing games like foosball and pingpong into the office setup.
“This really reflects the way people want to work and what progressive companies like to buy into in terms of space,” Maguire said of WE3’s planned design. “It’s changed.”
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