A radio broadcasting and out-of-home advertising company, iHeartMedia is thriving in an era of streaming services and banner ads. The cheekily named company—formerly Clear Channel Communications—knows that the devil is in the details, taking great care to ensure it's seen as a forward-thinking startup within a 30-year-old company. With that in mind, iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman enlisted his Burning Man buddy, designer Michael Beneville, and A+I architects to design his New York digs that would cater to a 21st-century media company. Beneville was eager to deliver.
"I wanted to create a design that we could export to hundreds of other iHeartMedia offices across the country," he said. "The concept should work in a traditional office space, a strip mall, a warehouse—effectively, we bring the cool to any space. It's a straightforward kit of parts that's scalable. It's not a cruise ship. It's a battleship."
This stadium area is a multifunctional meeting space. Everything from musical performances by Neil Diamond and Alicia Keys to staff meetings are held here.
According to Beneville, an open office plan only works if people can have privacy. The custom pods—some were designed to hold two people, some six—allow for impromptu meetings.
The fully functioning iHeartRadio studio hosts talent like Ryan Seacrest and Steve Harvey when they pass through town.
The Presentation Portal’s lasers in the table and ceiling are the controls for the 15 screens around the room. “By plucking them,” Beneville said, “you can cue programmed sound and video, or change ‘locations’ from New York to San Francisco, Seattle and other cities around the world.”
This story first appeared in the Oct. 26 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.