Bi-Curious

Douglas Wood
Submitted by Douglas Wood October 13th, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

This curious binoculars-shaped building on Main Street in Venice, California used to be called the Chiat/Day Building after the original tenants (the ultra-hip ad agency). I’ve always admired it but never knew until now that it was actually designed by Frank Gehry with help from Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. So this is high-end kitsch. The binoculars provide the entrance to the building’s parking garage, so you actually get to drive underneath them.

8 Responses to “Bi-Curious”

  1. Allee Willis

    Allee Willis

    Needless, I’ve always loved this building. I always knew it was a Ghery though it made no sense to me as it diverged so much from his style. Now that I know Oldenburg’s in there it makes sense.

    I wish there were more buildings like this instead of those hideous postmodern boxes they still build. I always have a better experience if it happens inside meaningful architecture.

  2. Markydoodle

    Mark Milligan

    Chiat/Day is where my friend Chuck Bennett conceived of the Taco Bell dog highlighted in my post “Strung Out Fast Food Chihuahua.” His Mom and my Mom are best friends in Nebraska. I want to go see this now-next week when I’m there for sure. Great post Mr. Wood.

  3. Douglas Wood

    Douglas Wood

    Mark– kudos to your friend for a great ad campaign. If you go to Venice to see this building, be sure to check out my two favorite stores in L.A. that are both really close by: OBSOLETE at 222 Main Street and URBAN COUNTRY, right next door at 218 Main St. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. They both have the most amazing vintage folk art and overall high-end weird shit– it’s almost like going to a museum. I’ve never bought anything there because the prices are extremely high, but if I ever come into large sums of money unexpectedly, I’m going straight there to blow it on something fantastic.

    • Allee Willis

      Allee Willis

      I still haven’t made it into either of those places as I’m naturally repelled once prices get that high. I’m also not a Westside gal; I’m a a snob in reverse. But I trust your taste so that I will have to figure out an excuse to brave the traffic and get over there. I just hope I don’t see something I fall in love with!

  4. Douglas Wood

    Douglas Wood

    It’s probably better if you think of visiting these stores more as a museum visit than a shopping trip.

    By the way, I checked Netflix for “Attack of the Mushroom People” but they don’t have it. Hopefully I can find it elsewhere on line.