Googie Architecture/Mid Century Modern Design

googie architectureThe La Concha lobby is an example of architect Paul Revere Williams’ later work, as he moved away from more traditional architectural styles to embrace Modernism.  A popular name for this type of architecture is “Googie,” which describes a style that references a time when the United States was enthusiastically anticipating the future. The La Concha lobby exhibits the Googie style with its exaggerated shell form, and thin, concrete structure seemingly held up by large plates of glass.

The Googie style of architecture thrived in the 1950s and early 1960s. It began as commercial architecture designed to make the most of strip shopping centers and other roadside locations. It fit the needs of the new California "car culture" and the dreams of the even newer space age. Googie has also been known as Populuxe, Doo-Wop, Coffee Shop Modern, Jet Age, Space Age and Chinese Modern. It is also sometimes identified as part of a larger overall movement of space-age industrial design.

The Googie style of architecture was most prevalent in southern California. This stylistic influence helped to create some of Las Vegas’ best commercial buildings during the 1950s and 1960s. Indeed, many of the more traditional Modern buildings located on or around Main St. in downtown Las Vegas were discovered to have been designed by architects from southern California during an historic resource survey of the area in 2004.

The word Googie comes from Googie's, a Los Angeles coffee shop designed by architect John Lautner.