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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Adaptive Reuse
  4. United States
  5. Brooks + Scarpa Architects
  6. Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects

  • 01:00 - 11 May, 2012
Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects
Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects, © Marvin Rand
© Marvin Rand

© Marvin Rand © Marvin Rand © Marvin Rand © Marvin Rand +10

  • Architects

  • Location

    1330 4th Street, Santa Monica, California, United States
  • Principal In Charge

    Lawrence Scarpa
  • Design Team

    Angela Brooks, Jackson Butler, Adam Davis, Mike Ferguson, John Jennings, Gwynne Pugh, Lawrence Scarpa
  • Furniture And Fixture Design

    Mike Ferguson; John Jennings; Lawrence Scarpa (with Dave Scott)
  • Steel And Furniture Fabrication

    Dave Scott of DESU
  • Construction Team

    Brian Crommie and Tom Hinerfeld of BT Builders
  • Client/Owner

    Stoney Road Productions and Reactor Films
  • Costs

    $35.000 ($50.00/sq. ft.) includes building shell upgrades
  • Area

    7000.0 ft2
  • Photographs

From the architect. Program: To remodel an existing 7,000 sq.ft. 1930’s Art deco Masonry Building Art Gallery into office and work space for production of TV commercials and music videos. 

Solution: Reactor presented the unique challenge of satisfying the client’s requirement to move into a completed space in less than fourteen weeks from the beginning of the design process. In order to meet this demand, a systematic working strategy was developed to capitalize on these extreme constraints while cultivating an inventive and dynamic working atmosphere in which client, contractor and architect collaborated with an unprecedented synergism.

© Marvin Rand
© Marvin Rand

The program was strategically divided into distinct and separate areas that could be developed and detailed in phase with the construction schedule: each programmatic element or area was explored in depth and developed in detail, presented to the client and then dimensioned and issued to the contractor for construction. Design decisions were made in close association with the contractor and various fabricators whose expertise was fundamental to the project. A complex set of issues and relationships involving time, money, design, construction and fabrication created a context in which the process of making and the craft of construction intensified in importance and became central aspects of the design process.

© Marvin Rand
© Marvin Rand

Construction commenced during the first week of design and permits were issued by the City by the beginning of the second week. All drawings generated for the project served as both client presentation and construction document. To facilitate this process and allow for rapid facsimile communication between participants, all drawings were completed freehand on 11’ x 17” vellum. The immediacy of working in this ‘one take’ or ‘live broadcast’ context resulted in an architecture that, in essence, evolved as a drawing at full scale.

Spatially, the project revolves around a centrally located conference room, positioned to engage the public street. The conference room, located in the “street” lobby, re-occupies a used ocean shipping container purchased from the Long Beach shipping yard. The economic climate at the time of this project permitted the inventive reuse of this ready-made object: Because of the trade imbalance with Japan, the used container was readily available at an extremely low cost. Robert Venturi once said, “A familiar thing seen in an unfamiliar context can become perceptually new as well as old.” (Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture) Like the 1930’s building that this project occupies, the recycled container is transformed and perceptually repositioned to capitalize on its inherent history.

© Marvin Rand
© Marvin Rand

In essence, it exhibits a spatial biography, its surfaces and voids charged with fragments of memory etched into it over time. The surrounding interior space was conceived as a fluid surface wrapper rotating asymetrically around the centroid of the container. This surface wrapper alternately pushes close to and peels away from the walls and structure of the existing building. This push and pull or concealing and revealing formal strategy suggests a dynamic relationship between the new and old while indicating a design attitude that respects the integrity of the old while maintaining a commitment to the generation of an inventive and thoughtful new.

© Marvin Rand
© Marvin Rand

While the surface plane remains flat and orthogonal, it is consciously exploited for sculptural expressiveness. Molded into an extra dimension in its wrapping, the voids which it creates become as important as the surfaces themselves. Walls, rooms, and windows create singular experiences yet balance in tension together as a cohesive composition. Ultimately, Reactor is an attempt to stimulate meaningful experience in architecture through the process of making. It becomes a questions of “how’ rather than “what.’

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects" 11 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
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Arcabruja · June 22, 2012

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Makio135 Daily Insp · May 16, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects #Daily_Inspiration

David Scott · May 14, 2012

Years ago, DESU&#39s founder David Scott worked with Brooks + Scarpa Architects on this Santa Monica office/work...

James Lemanis · May 14, 2012

It&#39s like a #DeStijl interaction of planes... without the colour.
#architecture #interior

Travel Writer · May 14, 2012

RT| Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects: © Marvin Rand
Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Architects
... @archdaily

Who Dat Consulting · May 14, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects

J. Ramón Hdez. M. · May 13, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects #architecture #interior

Konrad Hamala · May 12, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects #architecture #interior

Yong-Sik Choi · May 12, 2012

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Santi Maggio Savasta · May 12, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects #Architecture #Architettura

Boby R · May 12, 2012

I think this project was done almost 12 or 15 years ago? It would have been good to mention that in the article. Their work has gotten more interesting and larger in scale.

watabetakahiro · May 12, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects | ArchDaily

Gintas Reisgys · May 12, 2012

an amazing interior, love the exploded shipping container! ]Reactor Films - Brooks + Scarpa Architects[ #Architecture

Lao Y · May 12, 2012

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Erik Joya · May 12, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects: © Marvin Rand Architects: Brooks + Scarpa…

ModernFurnishn · May 12, 2012

Architecture Daily

him + her · May 12, 2012

Architecture Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects: Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Architects
Lo... #architecture

Jonathon Quinn · May 12, 2012

Keepin it real w/ a #Scarpa twist.. RT @ArchDaily: Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects #architecture

ArchitecturePassion · May 12, 2012

Reactor Films / Brooks + Scarpa Architects: © Marvin Rand
Architects: Brooks + Scarpa Architects
Location: 1330 ...

heath west · May 12, 2012

PROJECT: Reactor Films by Brooks + Scarpa Architects


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