The Pacific Design Center is a singular landmark that galvanized the design industry

Los Angeles, CA, USA

An instant cultural icon when it opened in 1975, the Pacific Design Center's Blue Building established West Hollywood as an internationally renowned design district. This audacious building (widely known as the “Blue Whale”) marked a watershed for Los Angeles architecture, boldly taking center stage in a city known for the spotlight. The development of the Pacific Design Center spans four decades, with the addition of the Green Building in 1988, followed by the Red Building in 2012 — both continuing the architecture’s daring exuberance and whimsy. The Center unites the neighboring hills and flat Mid-City area, forming a lynchpin for what we now know as West Hollywood.

At the corner of Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard in West Hollywood, the Pacific Design Center was built on the site of a former Pacific Electric railway facility.
the Blue Building opens
Abstract and sculptural, the nine-story Green Building is vertically oriented with chamfered edges.
the Green Building opens
An important urban design contribution to Southern California, the Pacific Design Center is a legendary design destination.
the Red Building opens

An architectural story four decades in the making

In a city where many ambitious projects were never built, the Red Building is a celebratory culmination of the Pacific Design Center’s trilogy. The building’s two towers join at the center on a raised plinth with a sky garden that offers sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown Los Angeles, while concealing parking underneath. The Red Building anchors the north side of the campus, creating an inviting public plaza with fountains, palm trees, and lush green space. Visitors from all over the world come to the Pacific Design Center for screenings, exhibitions, and industry events.

Today the Pacific Design Center is the creative home to iconic brands in design, entertainment, fashion, technology, and the arts. 
“As a gathering place, the Pacific Design Center created the environment for West Hollywood to happen.” — Cesar Pelli, FAIA, RIBA, JIA

More About the Project

Project Team

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Gruen Associates
  • Structural Engineer: Englekirk Structural Engineers
  • MEP: TK1SC

Project Information

  • All specifications are for Red Building.
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Clients: Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation & Pacific Design Center
  • Size: 800,000 sq. ft. / 74,322 sq. m.
  • Height: 209 ft. / 64 m.
  • Completion Date: 2012
  • Firm Role: Design Architect


  • 2014 Los Angeles Architectural Award, Los Angeles Business Council
  • Project Photography (Red Building): Jeff Goldberg/ESTO