Emerson College Dramatically Alters Hollywood Skyline

Photos courtesy of Emerson College.

The now complete $85M Emerson College of Los Angeles (ELA) is set to easily become one of the county’s most iconic structures: located in the heart of Hollywood along the Sunset strip, it’s bold, 10-story tall geometric shape—echoing the famed CCTV building by OMA in China—will alter the Hollywood skyline.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis, the new space will house 217 new students (which is more than double the current amount held at the private college’s temporary Burbank space). The 107,400 sq. ft. building (with 120,000 sw. ft. underground parking three levels below ground) will have 159 single rooms, with 8 designated for resident assistants; 24 double-rooms, and 4 staff/faculty apartments.


“Looking to the local context, the center finds a provocative precedent in the interiority of Hollywood film studios, where outwardly regular façades house flexible, fantastical spaces within,” said Mayne in a statement on behalf of Morphosis. “With rigging for screens, media connections, sound, and lighting incorporated into the façade’s metal framework, this dynamic visual backdrop also serves as a flexible armature for outdoor performances. The entire building becomes a stage set for student films, screenings, and industry events, with the Hollywood sign, the city of Los Angeles, and the Pacific Ocean in the distance providing added scenery.”

The Boston-based private college—with a $49M endowment—the Los Angeles program is geared specifically towards providing students semester-long professional internships in entertainment-related and media-related positions. In its 27 years, over 4,300 have partook in the program.

A special gala, with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Larry David, Sofia Vergara, and others, will occur this Saturday. Tickets to the gala, starting at $150 per person, are available to Emerson alumni and parents by calling 617-824-8531, visiting emerson.edu/elagala, or by sending an email to [email protected]

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food to politics to urban transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 12 nominations and an additional win for Best Political Commentary. Born in Big Bear, he has lived in Long Beach since college. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.