The Sunkist Headquarters building is a symphony in concrete, declaring its presence on Riverside Drive to all who drive past on the 101 Freeway.
When citrus marketing company Sunkist moved into its new building in 1970, it left an Art Deco office tower in downtown Los Angeles for a homecoming of sorts; the San Fernando Valley was once partially covered with citrus groves, which were removed to make way for housing tracts after World War II. No matter that the orange trees were no more at the time of its construction—the building looks a little bit like an orange crate, inverted and set upon angled concrete columns.
It was designed by A. C. Martin and Associates, a firm with a long and storied history in Los Angeles. In the late 1960s, the firm was busy changing the look of downtown with its Corporate International-style skyscrapers. For Sunkist, A. C. Martin created a low-rise but unquestionably monumental Late Modern-style building of reinforced concrete with recessed windows. It is shaped somewhat like an inverted pyramid, colossally wide at the top and tapering in at the base so it appears to balance on concrete legs.
The office building has a Brutalist feel, with its extensive use of concrete and impassive façades, but its off-white color imparts a certain lightness, almost an airy quality. It is a contrast that works—this building is definitely remembered by anyone who has passed by it.