While we've recently devoted considerable energy to speculating about the evil wonders contained within CAA's new Century City headquarters (our latest fantasy involves a Rube Goldbergian baby-delivering device that uses a series of pulleys, catapults, children's sandbox buckets, conveyor belts, trampolines, a three-floor domino-waterfall, and a ball-gobbling mini-golf clown's mouth to transfer fresh infants from the food-prep area to the partners' conference room table) and offering helpful suggestions about how rival agencies might bring down the Creative Artists Death Star before its doomsday particle cannon could be deployed to incinerate their competitors, turning their former Wilshire Boulevard neighborhood into a Guernica-esque tableau of massacred tenpercenters, we didn't had any firsthand reports of what the building is really like. Luckily, the Defamer Special Correspondent on Agency Architecture attended last night's open house, offering his thoughts on the CAA stronghold's design:
CAA apparently designed its new headquarters to convey a sense of great abundance. There are at five levels of subterranean parking, each with close to nine hundred parking spaces. You must climb four escalators from the top level of the garage just to reach the first floor lobby, where another giant staircase awaits you, followed by an atrium that shoots up into the air with six more stairways. There are a lot of stairs. There is also a lot of marble — covering the stairs, covering the walls, covering the floors of the numerous lobbies that take up most of the first three stories of the building. The main effect all this marble has on the visitor is that you feel as though you've died and now haunt a mausoleum.
There were a lot of people at last night's open house. So many that it was difficult to get anywhere and impossible to determine how many people of Hollywood importance were attending. I recognized a lot of producers, some former studio heads, a lot of entertainment attorneys, and only a few celebrities — Kelsey Grammer, Selma Blair and Peter Gallagher among them. Most of the conversations I overheard involved people finding nice ways to disguise how atrocious they think the new offices are. One guy, risking eviction by the agency thought police, told his friend that the building "was designed in typical CAA style — scary."
"Scary," however, doesn't quite cut it. "Possesses an air of foreboding doom" is more appropriate. "Lifeless" works, too. These impressions stem largely from the fact that the only thing that doesn't exist in great abundance here is color. The corridors between the agents' offices are painted a sort of blasé cream and are fringed in a drab gray. The lobbies are all white except for the elevator bay, which is covered in drug-dealer-chic smoked mirrors. The furniture is black. In fact, only one room in the entire place has a
drop of color, and that is so-called "red room" on the first floor, a conference room whose walls are coated in an assaulting, scarlet paint. I can only assume this is where the assistants take their lashes, so that the splashes of blood may disappear unnoticed into the décor.
Overall, the architect of 2000 Avenue of the Stars really captured the agent stereotype — the building seems inspired by a vast abundance of money, with absolutely no discretion.