Los Angeles Architecture Tours: Chiat/Day Advertising Agency, aka the “Binoculars Building”: Frank Gehry with Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 1985-1991.

One of the most atypical and memorable buildings in Los Angeles is the Chiat/Day Building, commonly referred to as the “Binoculars Building”, by Frank Gehry. It is a commercial building designed for the Chiat/Day advertising agency, located at 340 Main Street in Venice, just a few blocks away from the Pacific Ocean.

The exterior of the Chiat/Day building features three visual components: a white, ship-like structure to the north; a brown and abstract, forest-like structure to the south; and the massive binoculars sculpture in between that functions as the entrance. The binoculars were actually designed prior to the Chiat/Day commission as a collaborative, unrealized project with Claes Oldenburg and his wife Coosje van Bruggen, known for their Pop Art sculptures. Gehry kept a model of the binoculars on his desk, and when unsure of how to complete the Chiat/Day building, he placed the binoculars on the project model between the white and brown buildings and so became the “Binoculars Building”.

The pedestrian entrance to the Chiat/Day building is behind and to the side of the binoculars, while the vehicle entrance is through the gap between the binoculars -an ode to the automobile in Los Angeles. 

The Chiat/Day Binoculars Building is seen on the LA Highlights Tour

Frank Lloyd Wright Los Angeles Guide

Download this digital travel guide to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture in LA. Includes maps, photographs, descriptions, and addresses of all Wright-designed buildings in the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles Architecture Tours

Pudleaux Tourism offers a variety of architectural and sightseeing tours of Los Angeles. Each LA tour offers a unique way to experience this vast metropolis and learn about Los Angeles’ fascinating architectural history. These guided tours visit a medley of areas in and around Los Angeles, including: Downtown LA, Silver Lake, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and Venice, to see and discuss the work of architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, R.M. Schindler, John Lautner, Charles Eames, and Frank Gehry among others.

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