With knee-slappers like Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns series and one supremely welcome takedown of the topical parody, comedy website Funny or Die has earned itself a reputation as a producer virally oriented content that's actually funny, a welcome foil to the low-reaching, paint-by-numbers offerings of sites like CollegeHumor. Designed by Clive Wilkinson, the L.A.-based architect behind the infamous "Superdesk", FoD's offices are fittingly goofy but thoughtful, pushing back against the work-as-play tech wonderlands of the world and the too-open office with something a bit more restrained but by no means mature. Speaking to Co.Design, Wilkinson put it this way: "As underdogs in the entertainment world, they like the idea of being provocative. They didn't want anything too subtle."
With a canary yellow kitchen at its center—where we're told the Game of Thrones live-blogging happens—the Funny or Die HQ alternates loudly painted walls with raw, unfinished sections built from plywood, pegboard, and galvanized metal. Whatever your opinion on either, "you can't walk in and feel nothing," says director of operations Jana Fain. To that end, one meeting room sits atop a layer of astroturf.
The open floor plan is punctuated by private offices, sound booths, editing bays, and the like, taking up two levels of a new building in the Lot, a historic West Hollywood production studio. Founders Will Ferrell and Adam McKay also situated Funny or Die's commercial services wing Gifted Youth in the space, along with sister company Gary Sanchez Productions, for a total of about 65 employees at this location, with 25 in San Mateo and 10 in New York City. The furniture in the common areas is all on wheels so it can be moved out of the way for filming; the possibility for quick reorientation also lends itself to Wilkinson's suggestion that the place is "a bit messy, yes. But deliberately." Check out the space below, or catch a glimpse when it shows up in the next biggest thing after president Obama's Between to Ferns appearance.