Although not as famous around the world as the nearby Sunset Strip, the Pacific Design Center is the most dominant icon of West Hollywood. Three giant geometric buildings in primary colors loom over the intersection of San Vicente and Melrose at the crux of the Avenues of Fashion, Art and Design. The 14 acre campus, which is a showcase for the interior design trades, was designed by architect Cesar Pelli. It was constructed in multiple phases over four decades.
The blue building, Center Blue, fondly referred to by locals as the "blue whale," opened in 1975 with 750,000 square feet of showrooms and offices. "Blue" is the first impression you'll get driving on Melrose or traveling north on San Vicente. The shiny blue-paneled exterior is impressive by day. The spiral tower that houses the infinity staircase lights up in alternating primary colors at night. Since Blue is the oldest of the three buildings, it is also the main entrance and the core of the center. Most of the commercial interior showrooms are in Center Blue.
Center Green opened in 1988, adding 450,000 square feet, almost half of which is office space for creative businesses. Green is north of Blue on San Vicente. The buildings are connected over a shared lobby which, in addition to the information desk, displays several major pieces of public art, including a set of giant keys and a ca.-1912 hang glider, modeled after an 1896 design by Wright-brother mentor Octave Chanute suspended from the ceiling of the atrium.
Center Red opened in 2012, adding another 400,000 square feet of office space in two towers over 7 levels of parking. Red has an impressive peak jutting to the east that can only be perceived from the north, looking south at the complex.