Ok, even Google probably can't make the nickname Silicon Beach stick, but city officials' dreams aside, the internet juggernaut is opening its new campus near Venice Beach today. The company now has 100,000 square feet in three buildings, including the Frank Gehry-designed building fronted by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's giant binoculars (the LA Times thinks it makes sense for the search company). Google now has more than 500 employees in the LA area and "wanted to reproduce the unified feel of its main campus, the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif.," according to the LAT. (Maybe this campus can be the Googlie in honor of one of our most notable local architectural styles?) With the new digs, Google is hoping both to attract workers from local colleges and partnership with entertainment and media people.
The design so far consisted of two highly disparate structures, one boat-like, the other tree-like. Now Gehry wanted to join them in the center with a third structure of a sculptural character that would mediate between the two and anchor the building, but he was not yet sure how to define it. Looking for something to demonstrate what he had in mind, he placed the little binoculars -- which serendipitously almost fit the scale of the model -- in the center of the Chiat/Day facade? Attention focused as much on the interior as the exterior of the Binoculars and on the addition of windows -- without which, Gehry insisted, the structure would not really be a building.