Johnson Fain to transform former Sunkist headquarters

In 2014, the emblematic company Westcoast Sunkist Growers, Inc. left its headquarters in Sherman Oaks, Calif., and ventured north to make Valencia its new home. Since 1893, Sunkist has been a household name across the United States, known for its fresh, sweet and tangy citrus products. In the 1950s fruit was popularized as Christmas treats and later in the 1970s and 80s the new collection of sodas was featured in several advertisements promoted by The Beach Boys.

Regardless of your brand affiliation, the historic 8.3-acre campus, formerly known as Sunkist Headquarters, will be transformed into the new Citrus Commons: a mixed-use property, amidst new parkland. extending from Riverside Drive to the Los Angeles River. Architecture and interior design firm Johnson Fain is behind this major change to retain the original bones of Sunkist’s headquarters office building, which will also incorporate new structures on the campus.

Three new buildings will be added to the campus. (Johnson Fain)

In February, the Los Angeles City Council praised the new Citrus Commons project for being, as Sherman Oaks Borough President Jeffrey Kalban said, “an outstanding example of a developer [IMT Residential] and the community working together for a very special and exceptional project. Three new residential buildings and a new parking garage will surround the pre-existing Brutalist Sunkist headquarters to understand the Citrus Commons development. The headquarters was originally designed in 1971 by AC Martin and Associates.

The 126,674 square feet of prime office real estate will be transformed into a class A creative work environment. t. In addition to the modernized office building, 249 luxury units will occupy part of the three new residential buildings with 27,000 square feet of retail space serving the community. Adjacent to the mixed-use wood and concrete buildings, a low-rise parking garage will accommodate up to 1,095 cars. Among the project, 165,000 square feet of space is expected to squeeze through the project, which includes open spaces, gardens and a plaza.

palm trees in a large square surrounded by concrete and wooden buildings
Interstitial landscaping will be woven throughout the site. (Johnson Fain)

The three new Citrus Commons buildings will tie into the already visually heavy Brutalist design of Sunkist’s former headquarters building by incorporating a large amount of concrete and large geometric shapes throughout. Johnson Fain is also mindful of the agricultural landscapes surrounding the campus, so there will also be touches of wood added to the new structures. Taking local connection a step further, Johnson Fain took inspiration from local barns and farmhouses and will design the new car park with wooden slat cladding. These uneven horizontal strips of wood on the facade of the parking garage will add an interesting textural element to the already recessed squares of wood seen on new Citrus Commons buildings.

glass atrium furnished with seats and trees
Large glass atrium in the former Sunkist headquarters, a brutalist building. (Johnson Fain)

In between the new and old buildings there will be a diverse landscape, rich in gardens that will provide prime outdoor gathering places along Sunkist’s historic central atrium. Johnson Fain is taking steps to design the Citrus Commons to be as warm and inviting as possible for local communities. . With these interior and exterior advancements, the new development will live up to Sunkist’s playful slogan “Good Vibrations”.

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