Binocular Building – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Los Angeles, California

Binocular Building

In a city filled with Frank Gehry buildings, one stands alone as one of his weirder works. 

Frank Gehry’s famous architecture is spread out all over the world, but the reluctant “Starchitect” of the deconstructivism movement makes Santa Monica his actual home, and as a result his work is scattered here and there throughout the city.

But despite this saturation of his work in the Venice Beach/Santa Monica area, one of his buildings tends to stand out more than the others, mostly because of its unusual entrance.

Serving as the access point to the organic, tree-like Gehry building for both cars and pedestrians is a giant set of binoculars resting on their lenses. The binoculars, which were designed by noted “giant random object” artist Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, create an arch with a lens firmly planted on each side of the entranceway to what was once an ad agency, and is part of roughly 100,000 sq. ft. of offices recently leased by Google.

Originally known as the Chiat/Day Building, the Binocular Building fits in well with Google’s penchant for whimsical, creative structures for their offices. And of course, the cachet that comes with having been designed by Frank Gehry doesn’t hurt.

Know Before You Go

The building is now part of Google's Venice campus.