With another year of construction under its belt, NBCUniversal's new back lot office campus is rapidly taking shape at Universal Studios.

Aerial view of the campusHathaway Dinwiddie

The Campus, which is a component of the 2013 NBCUniversal Evolution Plan, occupies a space near the park's main entrance on the north side of Universal Hollywood Drive. In the place of a collection of small production buildings, the new project includes:

  • an 11-story, 331,000-square-foot office building;
  • an 84,000-square-foot employee center known as "the Commons";
  • an eight-story, 1,265-car parking garage; and
  • the addition of offices, food services, conference facilities, and screening rooms to existing buildings.

Aerial view of the CommonsLever Architecture

House & Robertson Architects, Lever Architecture, and James Corner Field Operations are designing the Campus, which links its buildings together through a series of landscaped walkways and gardens, some of which open onto Lankershim Boulevard.

"Outdoor amenities are central to the expansion: the siting of the new office building and the Commons building work together with the existing structures to frame a new central green at the social heart of the campus," reads a narrative from the Lever Architecture website. "Lawns shaded by mature trees make the green a flexible space for picnics and events, from movie screenings and farmer’s markets to all-hands town hall meetings and galas."

View of the new office buildingHathaway Dinwiddie

The new office building, located at the southernmost section of the campus, includes a "flex floor" common space with a cafe, meeting rooms, and screening rooms, which spills out onto an exterior terrace.

To the north across the project's central green space, the Commons has a curving footprint, housing uses such as a commissary , a large special events theater, two screening rooms, and space for events with up to 1,000 attendees.

View of employee centerLever Architecture

The project comes at a time when legacy studios across L.A. County are moving to modernize and expand their facilities. A 1.4-million-square-foot expansion of the Paramount Pictures lot was approved in 2016, while entitlements are pending for $1.5-billion overhaul of Fox Studios in Century City.

Before the adoption of the Evolution plan, NBCUniversal had pursued expansion onto 14 acres of Metro-owned property adjacent to the Universal City/Studio City subway station across Lankershim Boulevard. While that project was scuttled amid community opposition in 2012, recent moves by Metro indicate that a redevelopment of the property may once again be on the table.

Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn