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New WSL global HQ comes with beer cafe, sound stage, gym...

WSL's new space as created by Classical Progression © Undine Prohl



Industry Updates

World Surf League's global offices in Santa Monica heaps of fun

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 February, 2015 - Design/Build firm Classical Progression, Inc. has just completed the worldwide headquarters for the World Surf League. Located in Santa Monica, the newly renovated, vintage bow-truss warehouse boasts business and creative office space for 50, a fully-equipped professional sound stage for its on-site broadcasting of worldwide competitions, a café with beer on tap, a game room with 24-hour live surf video footage, and an on-site gym complete with his and her locker rooms, all designed in a sophisticated surf vibe. Professional surfers are welcome.

"Classical Progression transformed a non-descript 10,000-square-foot space into a hub for the professional surfing world," says Kevin Cozen, founder of the design/build firm, which is also based in Santa Monica.

New WSL workspaces © Undine Prohl


Collectors' surfboards, including one used by Duke, the father of modern surfing, lean unassumingly against white gallery walls beneath the original, exposed bow-truss ceilings. Cozen restored the original concrete floors.

Organic, reclaimed materials are used throughout. Indeed, the most eye-catching element is an undulating spine, finished with aged mahogany wine-barrel staves, that meanders through the space. As you follow the wave-like form, you are gently nudged into dedicated environments for filming, editing, socializing, exercising and conducting meetings, along with the essential offices for creative and business departments.

Cozen claims that the wall, the most impressive aspect of the design, was actually his solution to the greatest design challenge. "The entrance was to be located at the inside corner of the building's L-shaped plan, which would have made for a sharp and uncomfortable transition from one side of the building to the other," says Cozen.  "Our solution was to create a three-dimensional curving wall that would manipulate circulation throughout the space, separate public and private areas, and represent the movement of the ocean."

Beer cafe and live video screens at the new HQ © Undine Prohl


Cozen is known for incorporating soulful, reclaimed materials into his projects, which he believes enhance the character of a space. A vintage bar from the 1920's became the café centerpiece; oversized vintage doors from one of Bob Hope's estates have been repurposed as the game room entrance; and the CEO's sliding entrance door rolls on skateboard wheels.

According to Paul Speaker, CEO of World Surf League, "Classical Progression instantly understood our company's culture and created an inspiring and comfortable environment for us to conduct business and enjoy our days at the office." 

Barbara Pressman

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