Showtime opened its dynamic new 50,000 sf, two-story workplace earlier this year. It offers stunning views of the Hollywood Hills and is equipped with interactive meeting areas, a central social hub cafe, new work spaces for employees with cutting-edge technology, and a state-of-the-art screening room. The space fosters creative breakthroughs and helps Showtime recruit and retain top talent in their industry.
Robert Benson, Design Principal for the Showtime project, is quoted extensively in the piece. The full article can be read online, below are key excerpts:
On reflecting Showtime history and culture in the design
As for expressing Showtime’s own history, the team took cues from the company’s award-winning dramas. “Perception versus reality” became the governing design concept, which plays out from the start. Stepping out of the elevator, visitors encounter…themselves. That’s thanks to the opposite wall of reflective glass, back-painted gold. Benson takes up the narrative: “There is you and then the image of you.”
From here, you have two choices. Turn left, toward the light, and you arrive in the reception area. Showtime’s white logo of capital letters angles out from a white wall, imparting a subtle all-business attitude, while the curves of a serpentine sectional read comfy-chic. Employees, however, might bypass reception, instead turning right toward a dark, undulating volume. A few more steps reveal this enigma to be the exterior of the screening room, wrapped in a wall covering reminiscent of shou sugi ban, the Japanese charred-wood treatment.
On the integration of murals in the design solution
The perception game also comes into play with the screen of louvers descending through the center of the staircase, suggesting a division between reception and the contiguous social hub, a café. Here, barstools and high round tables beckon, with coffee and kombucha emitting another siren call. Keeping watch over everything are the immense eyes of Claire Danes, aka Homeland’s CIA agent Carrie Mathison.
Call the photomural spooky, or call it cool—it introduces us to the art program, derived from Showtime’s archival photography. Elsewhere appear images of Michael C. Hall, the eponymous serial killer from Dexter, and Damian Lewis as Billions’s hedge-fund titan Bobby Axelrod. Again, the team circles back to the designers’ theme: “Usually, we’re watching the actor. In this case, it’s the actor who’s looking at you.”