A guitar everywhere you turned. Raymond Kent, Assoc. AIA LEED BD+C, CTS - Principal | Director of the Innovative Technology Design Group at DLR Group but one in the lobby to use.


Fender Tour - Five Takeaways
AIA|LA Interior Architecture Committee visits Iconic Guitar Maker

Can’t put it any other way than this: In December, Fender gave LA musicians an early Christmas/Chanukah present. Namely, the iconic guitar manufacturer opened their new headquarters and product development space, located in Hollywood, to us for a tour.

Those who joined us for the evening, which was organized by the AIA|LA Interior Architecture Committee, were informed about the design intent, structural requirements, and details by Sam Farhang of Rapt Studio, designers of the space.

Some of what we learned is below—but, let’s be honest here, what drew many of the attendees, was an opportunity to mingle with the iconic instruments, learn more about them and… play them. And, that’s okay: ultimately, that connection to these instruments is what the space is about and mirrors what occurs in the two buildings every day.—-Tibby Rothman

1. It’s a work space that’s relevant to digital technology companies as well as the music industry.
Fender is expanding its digital presence to include an extensive menu of functions it provide musicians on line. Meaning, branching into education. But when Rapt Studio was commissioned to design this Fender department, it wasn’t active yet. The designers relied on the client’s general vision for the department.

2. Two items are prevalent throughout the headquarters. Guitars (more on them in a moment) and hand written notes and ideas on walls. Words. Are. Everywhere. Offices and Open Space work areas in the Headquarters are filled with white boards/whole walls that employees can write on.

3. About the guitars everywhere: next to desks, clustered around work areas, in row after row on walls, even painted white in the lobby. Farhang explained that the client didn’t intend these as objects (although they are beautiful). They are intended as functional instruments, to be pulled off the wall and played. It’s not how they look on the walls, it’s how they sound in the hand.

4. Guitar hardware was shipped to Rapt so the designers could closely study all pieces, as they influenced design.

5. It’s all about the music. Throughout both buildings are spaces for jams and informal performance. An informal performance space, for musicians that play Fenders, is situated at the top of the stairs that lead up from the lobby into to the headquarters. There’s a jam room and green room for musicians in the product development building. Interstitial space is allocated for employees to play, upstairs in the headquarters.

6. Headquarter's core is reserved for storage for countless guitars.
Last updated: 07-Dec-2017 04:09 PM
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