SOURCE: LAIKA Entertainment

March 06, 2007 14:45 ET

LAIKA Owner Phil Knight Selects TVA Architects Inc. to Design World-Class Animation Campus

PORTLAND, OR -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 6, 2007 -- Philip H. Knight, owner and Chairman of the Board of animation studio LAIKA, Inc., has selected Portland-based TVA Architects Inc. to design a state-of-the-art feature film animation campus to house LAIKA's burgeoning Entertainment division, it was announced today by LAIKA's President and CEO Dale Wahl. TVA Architects Inc., award-winning designers of the acclaimed Nike Campus, have started work on a multi-phase master plan beginning with four buildings, scheduled to open in late 2009. The LAIKA campus will be located on 30 acres of land in Tualatin, OR, 12 miles south of Portland.

"Our LAIKA campus will have the same strength of design, environmental sensitivity, and precedent-setting style that TVA brought to the Nike campus," said Mr. Knight.

With its first animated feature film, "Coraline," in active production, LAIKA Entertainment's personnel roster will expand to over 600 within the next 18 months. "This project holds enormous implications, not only creating a world-class film and animation production studio in Portland, but contributing to the economic growth and cultural enrichment of the region," Mr. Wahl said.

When completed, Phase One of the LAIKA campus will total 245,000 square feet and accommodate 600 employees in four buildings: the first devoted to core corporate services including reception, conference rooms, a cafeteria, and a 300-seat screening theatre and hub for VIP events; the second to house a fitness center complete with locker rooms, a weight room and two exercise rooms; the third dedicated to corporate offices and state-of-the-art CGI (Computer Generated Imaging) facilities, and a fourth housing Stop-Motion Animation stages and support facilities. Ground-breaking is planned for October 2007 under the direction of Hoffman Construction, one of the country's most accomplished general contractors.

TVA Architects' design principal Robert L. Thompson, FAIA, said: "We are fortunate to build upon a 20-year relationship with Mr. Knight, and are thrilled to be part of his latest visionary enterprise."

Currently, production on LAIKA's stop-motion feature "Coraline" is underway in leased space in Hillsboro, OR.

About LAIKA:

Phil Knight is owner and Chairman of the Board of LAIKA, Inc. Mr. Knight is also co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Nike, Inc. The company was rebranded as LAIKA in the summer of 2005, when it absorbed Vinton Studios, an animation leader and innovator for more than 30 years. LAIKA Entertainment's first animated feature film, "Coraline," based on the international bestselling children's novel by Neil Gaiman, is being adapted for the screen and directed by LAIKA's supervising director Henry Selick ("The Nightmare Before Christmas," "James and the Giant Peach") with Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher leading the voice cast. It will be distributed through Focus Features ("Brokeback Mountain," "Pride & Prejudice," "Lost in Translation"). Also on its feature film development slate are "Jack & Ben," an original story of brotherly love set in the animal kingdom, and "Here Be Monsters," based on the bestselling children's novel by writer/illustrator Alan Snow.

LAIKA/house, the commercial division of the company, produces animated commercials and shorts for global clients including Coca-Cola, M&Ms, Wrigleys, Honda, Samsung, ESPN and Esure UK.

Throughout its history, the company has won two Academy Awards® (out of five nominations), 11 Prime time Emmy Awards, 11 CLIO Awards, three London International Advertising & Design Awards, five Mobius Advertising Awards, two Cannes Lion International Advertising Festival awards, and honors from the New York International Film & TV Festival, Annecy Awards, Annie Awards, and the World Animation Celebration Festival. For more information, please visit

About TVA Architects Inc.:

Portland-based TVA Architects has received over 50 design awards during the firm's 23-year history, including "International Campus of the Year" for the renowned NIKE World Headquarters in Oregon. Current work includes multiple high-rise condominium and office towers in Portland, Los Angeles and China, in addition to a complete renovation and branding study for the University of Oregon's iconic Hayward Field in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Track and Field Trials. Locally, TVA is the design architect for the John Ross Condominium Tower in Portland's celebrated South Waterfront, slated to be the tallest residential structure in Oregon, and designer of the recently-announced Park Avenue West, a new 31-story downtown office and condominium tower that will be the state's fourth tallest building.

As testament to the firm's commitment to sustainability, in 2005 the TVA-designed Ken Griffey Jr. office building on the Nike campus was Oregon's first building to receive the prestigious LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Award for Existing Buildings Gold certification -- at the time, one of only 13 buildings worldwide to hold this distinction. TVA's staff of dedicated architects and design professionals is led by company founder and design principal Robert L. Thompson, FAIA. For more information, please visit (

About Hoffman Construction:

Hoffman Construction Company was founded in Portland in 1922. Today it is one of the largest construction companies in the region, responsible for some of the most complex buildings in the world. In the past two decades, Hoffman has helped design teams and owners successfully complete one-of-a-kind projects, ranging from the West's deepest underground transit station, to cutting in half the typical construction schedule for microprocessor fabrication plants costing over $600 million. In recent years, Hoffman teams completed the Experience Music Project, designed by Frank O. Gehry, and the Seattle Central Library, by Rem Koolhaas.

Hoffman's expertise in sustainable construction has resulted in 18 LEED certified projects. The firm has completed five LEED Gold projects and two LEED Platinum projects, including the world's first Platinum Historic Renovation, and the first Platinum medical building.

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