Architect David Rockwell Goes Inside 2014's Oscar Green Room

4:00 PM PST 02/24/2014 by Alexandria Abramian
Courtesy of Samsung
Samsung’s media wall includes LED TVs, tablets and smartphones, which will feature images selected by Susan Sarandon and architect David Rockwell. Additionally, presenters will be able to take “selfies” from the Samsung Twitter Mirror during the show.

The award-winning architect tells THR how this year’s Dolby Theatre room was designed to let the stars shine.

The fact that this year’s Architectural Digest Green Room looks less fussy and more relaxed is no mistake. In fact, its home-like loft looks are central to a design concept of making a space where Oscar-night guests can kick back, converse and, if needed, step outside for a cigarette. David Rockwell of Rockwell Group (the firm behind such projects as Nobu restaurants and hotels worldwide; W Hotels in New York and Paris; as well as the Academy Awards sets in 2009 and 2010) created a neutral-toned space filled with custom and vintage furniture that can accommodate both big conversations and intimate ones.  

One of the room's most striking features is its media wall, where a collection of 86 Samsung TVs, tablets and smartphones will display images from iconic, socially conscious films. “The green room is a very relaxed environment but at the same time, dynamic,” says Peggy Ang, vp marketing communications at Samsung Electronics America. Rockwell spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the intricacies of less-is-more green room design. 

This has got to be the most home-like Oscar green room ever.

The Academy Awards began as a celebration for the film community; then it became televised; and now it's a huge extravaganza. This is not a huge room, so we wanted to emphasize hospitality, a fresh version of luxury that is open, airy, light-filled and flexible.

STORY: Oscars 2013: Inside the VIP Green Room 

Flexible as in the furniture moves around?

Flexible in that it needs to fill different requirements. For example, we put in stools where you can perch if you’re wearing a gown. We’ve designed a custom drinks cart, which is something that I’m obsessed with right now. It can move around the room.

There isn’t a lot of huge color here.

I didn’t want the design to compete with the people. This is about people looking good in this room. There is one wall with metal-sashed Plexiglas panels and curtains, to look like a window. It bounces light beautifully and will make people look good. That’s important.

What about the artwork and the Samsung media wall?

I thought the room provided a chance to really dive into AMPAS’ incredible collection of artwork. Toward that end, I suggested we engage someone in the film industry, and we looked at a number of people. Susan Sarandon is someone I know and she owns the pingpong club where my son is a member. So I called her and she loved the idea.

What kind of movie stills did the two of you select?

I felt it would be great if there was a sense of life and movement in the room on the media wall, which features 86 Samsung devices. Susan and I looked at images from 42 socially conscious feature films that have been nominated in the past, and we created a montage of images that will move through the wall. As much as possible, the goal of the room is to encourage interaction and celebrating the moment, theater craft and high-end residential design. The images all capture a spontaneous moment that doesn’t feel staged.  

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