777 Aviation Renovation

777 Aviation is a three-story glass and steel building in El Segundo, California, designed by modernist architect Craig Ellwood. SOM's design repurposes the 1968 office—a former headquarters for Xerox Corporation—and transforms it into a contemporary, multi-tenant creative workplace.

Originally designed with deep, vast floor plates to serve a single company, the building needed a more open layout—both to accommodate multiple tenants, and to bring in natural light. In the tradition of California modernism, the renovation blurs the lines between inside and outside. It allows tenants to access the outdoors from every floor, without sacrificing leasable office space.

The building's atrium, now doubled in size, has been transformed into a central destination. Above, a grid of 32 skylights, each six feet in diameter, brings daylight inside. Glass and perforated metal panels throughout the atrium reflect light and improve acoustics. A grand stair provides seating for large assemblies and impromptu meetings. Balconies on the second and third floors accommodate pantries, conference rooms, and additional amenities.

Common areas are designed and furnished to create a variety of environments. The entry lobby is envisioned as a hotel-like lounge. Outdoor areas combine hardscape and softscape, with varied seating arrangements and two large fire pits. The parking lot accommodates food trucks and café seating in a park-like setting. Additional amenities include a dog park, gym, locker rooms, and ample bike parking.

The project also saw the restoration of four outdoor sculptures by artist George Sugarman that mark the entrance to the building. New large-scale circular murals enliven the north garden, while two ethereal, polychromatic light boxes illuminate the atrium.