Project Description

CNN News Room

The assignment
CNN’s three-story offices in Washington, D.C., needed to be modernized to support the changing demands of one of the busiest news operations in the world.

Home to iconic programming like Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room,” it’s often the first place the world looks for up-to-the-minute election returns and breaking news from the White House and around the world.

To create an environment with workflow and process efficiencies built right in, we studied how in-house planners, screeners, and beat reporters work together. Flexibility is key in a business that must adapt to the cyclical demands of conventions, elections, and inaugurations – standard fare for news sequencing in Washington, D.C.

The renovation encompassed executive and staff offices, numerous conference rooms, interview area, training rooms, operations lounge, a security office, security lounge, and security changing area.

The curve ball
Every second counts in the news business; CNN reporters and staffers on different floors had to have quicker access to each other. Our solution: Cut a new stairway between two floors.

The biggest challenge
This was a challenge like no other: Accomplish a 12-week renovation of one of the busiest news organizations in the world without interrupting its round-the-clock on-air operations. The Leapley team got it done through careful planning, phasing, and project management. Nightly, millions of viewers visited our construction site and never knew we were there.


  • 90% of the floor was raised to allow for quick and easy reconfiguration of furnishings. Demountable partitions allow workstations to be turned into on-air studios and large meeting spaces.
  • Broadcast studios demand a high degree of lighting and electrical expertise. In the CNN Newsroom, state-of-the-art AV is integrated throughout. More than 450 television monitors keep the crews informed of current and breaking news.

Long-time partners
The Leapley and CNN relationship spans more than a decade. In that time, we have delivered over 50 projects at their seven-building Atlanta headquarters campus. The privilege of working on the Washington, D.C., studios was earned through years of working side by side, building the client’s trust and confidence. We are proud to be part of CNN’s extended family.

Project Type:
Corporate Interior Renovation

25,000 SF; Three floors

Washington, D.C.

Real Estate:
Broadcast Studios / Class A Office


Lawson Architects