California Governor Gavin Newson joined architect Frank Gehry, Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff, developer Jeff Worthe and Burbank Mayor Sharon Springer at the official groundbreaking of the Second Century Project, a Warner Bros. Studios expansion featuring two Gehry-designed office towers known as the “icebergs,” on Tuesday, January 14.
“These incredible new buildings will combine state-of-the-art technology with a dynamic work environment and allow us to reimagine not only our workspace but our future,” said Sarnoff. “Along with our historic lot, this newly expanded campus will fuel increased creativity, facilitate collaboration and help us attract and retain the world’s best and most diverse talent.”
“This is an investment in our employees, our creative and business partners and the Burbank community,” Sarnoff added.
“This is a project that shows confidence in our future,” commented Newsom, speaking to the positive economic impact of the project. “This is a big deal, not just for Burbank or the region, but for the entire state.”
Announced in April 2019, the Second Century Project, as the expansion is called, alludes to the beginning of Warner Bros. second century in business. The expansion is due to be completed in 2023, to coincide with the year of Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration.
“Warner Bros. is a legendary company and we needed to create a legendary building for them,” commented Gehry.
The two new office buildings are designed to look like icebergs floating along the 134 Freeway, as Gehry described during the April 2019 project announcement. The office complex will feature two towers, one at seven stories and 355,00o square feet of office space and the other at nine stories and 455,000 square feet of office space and be LEED Certified.
“In the Media Capital of the World, Warner Bros.’ commitment to this project is also a commitment to Burbank, reinforcing our relationship that goes back more than 90 years,” said Springer. “The creativity of Mr. Gehry’s architecture along with Warner Bros. desire to build something genuinely unique and Mr. Worthe’s commitment to construct it, further proves that yes, Burbank is a World Class City.”
The full Burbank City Council, including Bob Frutos, Jess Talamantes, Emily Gabel-Luddy and Tim Murphy, were also on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.
“We’re creating something pretty unique and pretty special,” added Worthe. “Almost 4000 Warner Bros. employees [will] work here. We’re trying to do something to make their lives better.”
With the groundbreaking now official, the construction of the Second Century project takes place in two phases. Occupancy of Phase I is expected in 2022 and Phase II occupancy will coincide with Warner Bros.’ centennial celebration in 2023.