Restaurant Swingers 1993, 802 Broadway, Santa Monica

On March 26th, after a long day of having explored some modernist buildings like for example the Sheats-Goldstein-Residence and the Chemosphere/Malin Residence, both designed by the architect John Lautner,  we had dinner at the Swingers Diners, a Googie-style Restaurant in Santa Monica.

It`s really amusing that our visits at these Lautner-Buildings coincide with a Googie-Restaurant due to the fact that John Lautner is also considered as the founder of the Googie-Architecture. Our professor came up with this great idea to combine the Googie-Restaurant with the Lautner-Buildings, because of its similarities.

One thing that strikes you immediately when you go along the front of the dining room is the red neon lettering. Neon signs are typical elements for the Googie-Architecture to catch driver`s attention and you also have an easy access with your car because of a huge parking lot in front of the restaurant.

Inside this retro coffee-shop one starts to feel like one is transported to a former time. The furnishings looks exactly like the interior equipment you know from a bar from the 50s/60s. I was very fascinating to notice how it was decorated with care in every detail. It is, in my opinion, a very well-done reproduction of a 50s/60s Diner restaurant. Inside the restaurant you have a continuous space, guaranteeing you a clear view through the saloon. The space is flooded with light because of the huge windows and the pitch of its roof. These are typical elements of the Googie-Architecture. The furniture, like for example the covers of the chairs reminds me of picnic blankets and the lamps have these futuristic shapes.

If you want to perceive this American way of life you must eat at one of these restaurants. They stand in a stereotyped, but also somehow true way for the American gastronomy.

All pictures taken by the author.

Yannick Bemtgen


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