Behind The Scenes – Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell

This year’s 93rd Oscars edition set has designed by David Rockwell, founder, and president of Rockwell Group. The award–winning architect’s set design for this year’s socially distant ceremony reflects the intimacy and elegance of the Academy’s very first ceremonies in Oscars 2021! Design Limited Edition is going to take you through the behind the scenes of Oscars 2021 design!

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Behind The Scenes - Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell oscars 2021 Behind The Scenes – Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell rockwell group oscars main ceremony photo credit courtesy of spencer lowell for rockwell group hr 2 1

The Rockwell Group president had already crafted cinematic sets for the show twice before, in 2009 and ‘10, at the Rockwell Group-designed Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Oscars 2021 took place at Union Station Los Angeles on 25 April, under complete circumstances, due to a global pandemic!

Behind The Scenes - Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell oscars 2021 Behind The Scenes – Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell rockwell group oscars main ceremony photo credit courtesy of spencer lowell for rockwell group hr 1 1
Behind The Scenes - Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell oscars 2021 Behind The Scenes – Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell rockwell group oscars main ceremony photo credit courtesy of spencer lowell for rockwell group hr 3 1

It was an honor to design the Oscars ceremony in such a critical year for cultural production. People crave shared experiences, especially now, so we tried to create a celebration of the type of communal arts we’ve been missing. The Oscar ceremony is always intimate and grand at the same time, more so this year with Union Station’s soaring details and historic details. We conceived a room within a room that made circulation intuitive, enveloped the audience in an intimate embrace, and also created a space in which the action happens everywhere, not just on stage.

David Rockwell
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The designer divided the set into four separate spaces for the Oscars 2021, such as Union Station’s Ticket Concourse and Waiting Room, as well as its North and South Patios. Since the building is a protected Los Angeles landmark, the design team wasn’t allowed to make any permanent changes to space. The design concept evoked both the intimacy and elegance of the previous ceremonies. With seated formal dinners and combined rich woods, gleaming metallics, cool, saturated colors, and sumptuous textures, all the details worked together to complement Union Station’s architectural details and embrace the style associated with Hollywood.

Behind The Scenes - Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell oscars 2021 Behind The Scenes – Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell north patio 1 courtesy of rockwell group 1619128140 1

A raised reception welcomed nominees and their guests from the house left. Platinum-finished geometric screens helped to define and divide the audience area, leaving enough space to avoid obscuring the room’s original architecture or decorative flourishes. The main action took place upon an imposing stage made of rich, inlaid wood in a circular, multi-tiered layout. Throughout the stage were built-in LED lights to provide subtle visual details. A giant, velvet drape in a rich blue tone, complete with oversized golden tassels crowned the stage.

Behind The Scenes - Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell oscars 2021 Behind The Scenes – Oscars 2021 Design By David Rockwell Ticket Concourse

And finally, Union Station’s North Courtyard gave a backdrop for a pre-and post-show celebration for Oscars 2021. Multi-tiered decking in teak woodgrain was installed on top of all grassed areas. These platforms incorporated a DJ booth, a piano, and lounge areas furnished in Roche Bobois outdoor furniture!

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