Binoculars Building – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura

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Binoculars Building

In a city filled with Frank Gehry buildings, one stands out as one of the architect's weirder works. 


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

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” artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, create an arch with the lens firmly planted on each side of the entranceway to what was once an ad agency, and is part of roughly 100,000 square feet of offices leased by Google.

Originally known as the Chiat/Day Building, the Binoculars 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 headquarters. However, there is enough space to drive through and back straight out.

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