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Emerson College goes Hollywood with architecturally significant $110M L.A. campus

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Emerson College, stopping just short of lovingly pre-chewing students and spitting them directly into the mouth of hungry Hollywood, will be opening a new $110 million campus in Los Angeles. A higher education finishing-school for many entertainment and media types, Boston-based Emerson hopes to further strengthen its ties to the industry.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled next Thursday for the architecturally significant, Sunset Blvd. building located a few blocks east of Gower. The 10-story, 37,350-square-foot, potential new landmark was designed by architect Thom Mayne and will hold classrooms, housing for students and faculty, and an auditorium, The Wrap details.

"Los Angeles is a leading city in arts and culture and entertainment and drama and film, and we’re moving there to take full advantage of what it has to offer to our students, many of whom will go on to become the future leaders in Los Angeles in those various fields,"  President Lee Pelton told TheWrap. 

The school, which operated a Los Angeles presence since the mid-80s from a rented space in Burbank, started construction on the new, see-through property earlier this year.

"The terrace, open to the sky, will include a 50-foot oak or sycamore tree among other greenery," said Mayne, whose Culver City firm, Morphosis Architects, designed the Caltrans headquarters downtown and the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech, notes the L.A. Times

Emerson expects to enroll 100 juniors and seniors for the spring 2014 semester, and then double that number by the end of that year.

The esteemed Emerson has polished the likes of Norman Lear, Jay Leno, Kevin Bright, Doug Herzog (president of Viacom Entertainment Group), and a cast of countless others. Some might argue that Hollywood itself is an Emerson alumni association, and the L.A. campus intends to make it easier access the institution's network of famous faces.

"This will make the college very, very visible, to the entertainment community," Herzog said. "Boston is a great place, but it is 3,000 miles away from Los Angeles, and there's a great benefit to having students come out here to get some real life experience within the entertainment community."

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