CNN Studio 21L

New York City, New York

CNN’s Studio 21L currently serves as the home of “Anderson Cooper 360.”

The studio, on the 21st floor of the network’s 30 Hudson Yards broadcast facility, debuted on May 20, 2019.

Clickspring Design notes Studio 21L is characterized by a sleek combination of rectilinear and circular elements. A corner LED vista expanse is accentuated by cylindrical columns, and the rectangular anchor platform culminates in an arc with inset LED floor tile. These defining circles are mirrored in the otherwise rectilinear canopy above. Anderson Cooper’s desk, supported by clear acrylic, appears to cantilever over the LED floor and comprises two complementary “halves” — one serves the anchor and a few guests, and the second extends the desk to host a full discussion panel.

Three tracking, arced LED screens at the center of the studio act as foreground elements for “Anderson Cooper 360;” in a wide shot they might contain show branding graphics or segment lead-ins. The ultimate functionality of these screens, however, is to transform the studio and define a space for a second show, to be shot along the reverse axis.

Overall, the restrained material palette of Studio 21L allows design gestures to be read clearly — major elements are a crisp white, and subtle red stripes cue into CNN branding, while the dark metallic and black floor recedes. The LED screen graphics and lighting, then, completely control the tone of the space, enabling it to shift flexibly from show to show.

Photos courtesy of Clickspring Design / Niel Galen.