On the Move

After outgrowing digs in Hermosa Beach,
Moon Tide Media transitions to a sleek new space
in El Segundo with extra elbow room to grow.

Since 2008 Moon Tide Media—publisher of Southbay magazine—made its home in two neighboring buildings in Her – mosa Beach just a short walk from the Hermosa Pier. One was the historical former home of the Hermosa Beach Department of Water and Power, and the other a cottage-style house converted to office space. As the years rolled on and the company expanded, the demands of a growing staff and new business filled these two charming locations to capacity, making a move both imminent and necessary.

“We loved the years we spent in Hermosa Beach,” says Todd Klawin, managing partner of Moon Tide Media. “We occupied two historic buildings steps from the beach. Ultimately the company just outgrew the space, and we simply needed more square footage to fit our growing team.”

In 2015 the company began plans for relocation to the ground floor of a large, modern high-rise building in the business section of El Segundo. “The quality of life for a business in El Segundo is very high,” shares Charlie Koones, managing partner. “It’s no accident that fast-growing, creative businesses like ours are moving there in droves. It was the natural place for us to look, and we couldn’t be happier with our new home.”

To help with the new office design, both Todd and Charlie looked to longtime friend James R. Meyer, principal architect of Los Angeles–based firm Lean – Arch Inc., who also happened to design Todd’s home in Manhattan Beach. “He has designed world-class office spaces for leading brands like 72andSunny, Mullen and Uber, and we knew that together we could create something special,” says Todd. 

Before signing with the PCT office community on Sepulveda Boulevard, Charlie admits they scoured several spaces in booming El Segundo. “We wanted a creative environment that we could be genuinely happy coming to every day. It was an old bank office and on the surface had the impressive lack of charm that you’d expect from that history. But it had huge volume, lots of light, and it was clear to us immediately what it could become.”

For the six- to eight-month transformation, James and his team sought to maintain a sense of the essence and aesthetic that the company had grown to love for more than a decade. “We didn’t want to kill the vibe that they had created in Hermosa,” explains the architect. “We just wanted to bring up the level of sophistication a little bit and reemerge with a new face. The idea was not to make the space so corporate but have it feel as if you’re in someone’s living room or in a study—but also not make it too formal. We wanted to make it fun and try to give it a level of sophistication that wasn’t there before.” 

James layered the 6,500-square-foot space, which had been vacant and untouched, with polished concrete floors, oak-topped workstations, custom designed square acrylic and oak pendant lamps. He added finishing touches such as rugs from Amara Rugs and a leather club chair, side table and coffee table from Restoration Hardware. Other pieces include a midcentury-inspired “Airporter” leather club chair from Zin Home, a Noguchi table culled from Todd’s home and artwork by artist Stanley Silver. 

“The artwork throughout is from my friend Stanley Silver,” adds Charlie. “He’s an amazing artist whose work hangs in major sports arenas including Gillette and Levi’s stadiums and was featured heavily on the show Entourage. His stuff has amazing textures and really brings the open spaces to life.”

For the living room-like feel, James designed a kitchen area with beers on tap for post-work events and Friday afternoon happy hours, and a shuffleboard table for friendly competition among the staff. He also designed and installed a custom, floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and seating area that houses all the publications Moon Tide Media has produced over its 10 years in business. 

“The idea is to give people options during the day to mix it up and build camaraderie,” explains James. “The bookcase and light fixtures have a very ‘residential’ quality to them, and their scale adapts them to the commercial workspace environment. The refined look and functionality of the workstations lend the space to feel modern and innovative. The wood adds warmth to the interiors and helps adjust the scale of the room to the single occupant. The finished millwork in Charlie’s and Todd’s offices is the finishing touch toward making these spaces feel warm, intimate and comfortable. It’s just the right feel for what they envisioned for their personal office spaces.”

“Today, after lots of work, we have a very open space that mixes modern lines with lots of warm woods,” adds Todd, who admits his favorite design element is the oak bookshelf that anchors the main workspace. “It’s very beautiful and a comfortable place to spend time. It doesn’t feel like ‘work.’”