Monday, February 09, 2015

The Packard Humanities Institute: The Film and Preservation Center (Santa Clarita)

The Film Archive and Preservation Center. Photo: BAR Architects. Click to enlarge
The BAR Architects presentation: "Located on a 64.5 acre site in Santa Clarita, The Film Archive and Preservation Center provides the highest standards of preservation and storage for one of the most significant collections of film and television moving images in the world. The buildings are designed to preserve the park-like setting of the oak tree savanna hillsides and maximize views to create a quality workplace. The project includes a film preservation laboratory, digital moving image and audio preservation laboratory, film video and paper storage archive, central plant and staff offices adjoining the existing underground nitrate film storage vaults."

"Client: Packard Humanities Institute
Architect: BAR Architects
Total Site Area: 64.5 Acres
Total Planned Area: 226,400 gsf
Project Components:
Two 20-Seat Screening Rooms
Digital, Moving Image and Audio Preservation
Film, Video and Digital Archives Storage
Nitrate Film Vaults
Central Plant
Gallery Exhibit Space
Research and Study Center
- BAR Architects

"The new building will be comprised of two distinct parts, the Collection Storage and the Stoa. The Collection Storage portion is a large, unobtrusive, functional structure—primarily underground—housing temperature and humidity controlled collection storage vaults, collection services, loading dock, film lab facilities and a central plant for the entire project. The Stoa, inspired by ancient Greek Stoas with two story colonnades, is an L-shaped structure housing the preservation labs, work rooms, preservationists’ offices and administrative functions. The interior architecture recalls motifs from the Florentine monastery of San Marco and is designed to inspire the preservationist’s work. The palette of materials is Mediterranean with terracotta roof tiles, light-colored precast columns and walls, terracotta floors, plaster walls with parking located beneath an olive orchard." (Architecture MMXII)

AA: An amazing place: state-of-the-art film archiving in an architectural setting that is faithful to the Classical vision, even utilizing Italian marble. A tribute to the craft and profession of film archiving. The buildings are there, and the installation of the equipment is going on. The premises will house the giant collections of the UCLA Film and Television Archive; many of their treasures are here already. Perfection in every detail: high quality premises can inspire high quality work. While marvelling at the view we notice condors patrolling the sky.*

* Evidence of the success of the California Condor Recovery Plan. Some 30 years ago there were no wild condors left in California; all survivors lived in captivity.

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