ESPN | First Take & Around the Horn



ESPN’s First Take, hosted by Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Molly Qerim, moved into the network’s downtown Manhattan production facility in the South Street Seaport development at Pier 17.

The 2,300-square-foot studio occupies the corner of the building and takes advantage of its impressive view across the East River and toward the Brooklyn Bridge. LED panels matching the cadence of the windows complement the exterior view with vibrant show-related content.

Since First Take centers on sharply opposing views, the design aims to create a central zone where contrasting materials collide and express the tension of a lively debate – this is most apparent in the chevron floor pattern. The desk, then, becomes the ultimate point of conflict. It is located precisely along the axis where the opposing floor materials meet, and its volumes are extrusions of that floor pattern, so a deconstructed series of branded plinths form the desk rather than a traditional single volume.

A large structural column, because of its size and prominent position in the middle of the studio, ended up playing a considerable role in locating the desk — ultimately, the column was embraced as an anchor point for the interview platform and used to help define that zone. The soft seating area, now distinct from the rest of the studio, offers a somewhat more relaxed place for discussion.