DC Comics Big Moves Around The Warners Lot

Last week, Bleeding Cool, reported on a change at DC Comics. The comic book publisher, owned by Warner Bros and currently headquartered in their Burbank offices in Los Angeles, has been mostly working from home from the last two years. Bleeding Cool reported that employees had been invited into the offices to clear their desks as DC Comics moves locations within Warner Bros, and will be moving to a hot-desking operation, where the majority of staffers are expected to work at home, and to commute in for meetings and presentations.

Some bad actors took this as a sign that DC Comics was closing down, because they always do.

But I'd heard that the current DC Comics offices felt a bit removed from the rest of the Warner Bros lot and kept the company separate from Warners as a whole. And that won't be happening going forward. Space will be shared by other Warners departments and the organisation will be merged and streamlined with other Warners operations. And the "tour" aspects of the current DC Comics offices, to present a DC Comics experience to visitors and other Warner staff, is seen as surplus to requirements.

The new DC Comics offices will be in the newly built Frank Gehry-designed "iceblock" office towers, plans for which were unveiled two years ago. At the time then-Warner Bros Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff said that "These incredible new buildings will combine state-of-the-art technology with a dynamic work environment and allow us to re-imagine not only our workspace but our future. This is an investment in our employees, our creative and business partners, and the Burbank community." Warner Bros plans to move into the new buildings in 2023, coinciding with the AT&T-owned studio's 100th anniversary, but ownership and post-pandemic needs have switched that timetable up. The current schedule is for DC Comics to move into one of the towers of the new building in June – the other tower is still being completed.

DC Comics Big Moves Around The Warners Lot
Warner Bros' Second Century, new home for DC Comics, from Google Street View, taken from the freeway last year.

Architect Frank Gehry designed the pair of office buildings, to resemble "icebergs floating along the freeway". Gehry Partners' plans are for the 800,000-square-foot complex to extend the entertainment company's current building in the Burbank Media District. Gehry hopes the project will "recapture that feeling of old Hollywood splendour" that existed during its early years. Not entirely sure if a post-pandemic society will appreciate that in the same way, of course. "Once upon a time, Hollywood Studios had an important architectural presence in the city – they were like monuments to the movie-making process," said Gehry. Nicknamed the Second Century Project, the complex will be erected opposite Warner Bros headquarters on the other side of the Ventura Freeway. It will comprise two huge office buildings broken up into stepped, staggered and slanted fragments, and fronted by glass. "From the freeway, the buildings are composed as one long sculptural glass facade that creates a single identity like icebergs floating along the freeway," said Gehry. A terraced, punched-metal facade will run along the rear of the building and is intended to reference the scale and aesthetic of the existing studio buildings. Gehry Partners divided the office complex into two buildings: one seven stories high containing 355,000 square feet and a nine-storey building with an area of 445,000 square feet. While they appear disjointed from the exterior, inside they will be designed to offer large, open workspaces. "We created large open floorplates with the single goal of creating the highest quality office space," Gehry said.

When the employees are allowed in, that is. I am told to expect office space for around 30% of the DC Comics workforce, with employees expected to come into the offices for around two days a week, all in.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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