Just as Barbara Bestor was completing the Beats By Dre project – almost 10,000 square metres spread out over two buildings in Culver City – Apple acquired the brand for a jaw-dropping $3-billion. Known for its brightly hued headphones and subscription streaming service, the company founded by Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Luke Wood brings in $2-billion in annual sales. Although it competes at the very top of Silicon Valley, Bestor wanted to steer clear of the “adolescent-like interiors” of the dot-com/start-up culture.
Her stunningly architectural spaces include an interactive conference room, 10 breakout areas, six project zones with floor-to-ceiling whiteboards and a number of listening bars. Their various moods are conveyed by brash colours (which recall the brand’s bold headphone hues) and soothing wood and white-washed finishes, animated by sophisticated graphic treatments. Throughout, the furniture is premium, from the Vitra workstations to the lighting by brands like Roll & Hill, Tom Dixon and Toronto’s Castor. The most stunning gesture: Iwan Baan’s aerial shots of Los Angeles in the form of wall to ceiling murals.
While the project, which was completed earlier this year, brought Bestor a great deal of attention, she has been putting her bold aesthetic to use in numerous projects for years now. Beats By Dre follows on the heals of a new headquarters for Nasty Gal, the online fashion retail outfit. When owner Sophia Amoruso, author of the awesomely titled memoir #GIRLBOSS, needed a bigger home for her burgeoning brand – which rakes in $100-million a year in sales – she turned to Bestor. From a small operation in a rented pool house, Nasty Gal has moved into three historic buildings in downtown Los Angeles.
Bestor and her firm preserved the beautiful bones of the building – its concrete trusses, brick walls and marble flooring – and played them up with insertions of bold furniture and finishes. As in Beats By Dre’s HQ, all the workstations are arrayed along the perimeter, to take full advantage of window banks.
Central gathering areas – whether living room vignettes arranged under a band of skylights or a row of stark-white trestle tables – are alternately outfitted with tailored grey chesterfields and green and pink stools. Bespoke banquettes and ribbed wood ceilings – the latter above the bar/cafeteria – inject a modern sensibility.
Bestor is also at work on a number of retail, residential and hospitality projects. Her Beachwood Cafe, left, is a restoration of a beloved eatery in Hollywood. And her interior for Intelligentsia’s Silver Lake locale bears many of her retail hallmarks – bold finishes, bespoke graphics, and a marriage of natural materials, such as wood and ceramic, and bursts of colour and pattern. Among Bestor’s upcoming projects are a new wine and sardine shop in L.A., a trio of Clare Vivier stores in New York and California and a housing project in Echo Park that will consist of 18 units. If her recent work is any indication, they will be full of stunning ideas and details.