Googie Land – An Architecture Tour Through Area 51

Googie Style: A Bizarre Showcase of History, Architecture, and AI

A stylized photo of an alien googie style building with a tower inspired by vertebrae


Googie Architecture: It’s an irreverent exuberant style of bold shapes, retro aesthetics, and craziness for the sake of craziness. It is a style where buildings themselves become signs turning mundane diners, motels, and car washes into architectural statement pieces. Eye catching. Outlandish. Alien. It’s in The Jetsons. It greets arrivals in Las Vegas. It imparts character throughout the neighborhoods of LA. You can find it leaping from 50s drive ins, scattered about US interstates, or sometimes even defining city skylines.

For those who want to learn about Googie style, Curbed provides a great explainer, focusing on iconic examples in LA:
Curbed Ultimate Guide to Googie
Curbed - The Ultimate Guide to Googie

Additionally, Architectural Digest really dives into the history in their explanation of how the American diner got its signature aesthetic (largely thanks to Googie style) and the origins of the name Googie style iteslf:

As noted in the video above, Googie style is all about grabbing attention. It started from the humble beginnings of roadside eateries with unusual forms and colorful mid-century modern flourishes, then evolved to include experimental forms designed for an auto-crazed country, and finally peaked with an optimistic look to the future with sky-is-the-limit forms and an almost alien space-age aesthetic…. Peak Googie.

But if you didn’t come here to learn architecture history and really just want to see some buildings that make you feel like its 2019 and you’re storming Area 51, then without further ado, let’s take a road trip through the absurd, alien architecture that AI image generators like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion (via the platform Playground AI) have to offer. Sometimes AI images can be utterly bizarre, so let’s lean into that. Enjoy the ridiculousness.

Googie Land – A Bizarre Road Trip

a yellow metal panel space age motel, AI googie style architecture
Your room is on Level 5... if you can figure out how to get up there. [Stable Diffusion]
polaroid of a hotel shaped like flying saucers, AI googie style architecture
Stairs and elevators are so 3rd millennium, but you really don't want to know how you get to the penthouse suites here.... "Vacuum me up Scotty" [ Midjourney]
polaroid of an amorphous orange house with big glass windows in the desert, style of the flintstones and jetsons
When your Airbnb comes straight out of the Jetsons-Flintstones crossover episode. [Midjourney]
photo of an alien looking googie style snack bar made with stable diffusion
A simple sign saying "snack bar and ice cream fountain" would have sufficed. [Stable Diffusion]
an organic googie style neofuturistic shuttle stop at a hotel
I wouldn't mind waiting for the airport shuttle here. [Stable Diffusion]
an elegant organic neofuturistic hotel entrance in the desert, , AI googie style architecture
A surprisingly elegant entrance for something actively trying to be weird. [Stable Diffusion]
stylized photo of a home with glass curtain wall under a cantlievered UFO shaped roof
Stunning feat of architecture or just crashing your UFO in style? You decide. [Midjourney]
gravity defying alien looking green skybridge for a hotel in the desert in a googie style, made with stable diffusion
Take a stroll around the gravity-defying sky loop... brought to you by people who hate their structural engineer. [Stable Diffusion]
polaroid of a building witha roof shaped like a palm tree
Got a boring building? Have you considered giving it a hat? [Midjourney]
photo of a building in the desert shaped like the sagrada familia towers, subtle googie style starburst
Oh that's why they haven't finished the Sagrada Familia yet..... them aliens beaming up everything that isn’t nailed down. [Midjourney]
photo of a modern building in a googie style with a tower inspired by the Dune popcorn bucket, made in midjourney
Well now I know where all that Dune Popcorn Bucket money went. [Midjourney]
A stylized photo of an alien googie style building with a tower inspired by vertebrae
The trip is at its end, but you still wonder what architectural beasts lurk in the white sands. [Midjourney]
alien street lamps with a neon glow at dusk, , AI googie style design
On the road again. [Midjourney]

Googie Style: It’s Not So Much a Reference…. It’s Irreverence.

I don’t really have any big grand thesis about this type of architecture. Googie is a consistently inconsistent style. Sometimes it looks like a diner. Sometimes it looks like it belongs at a UFO crash site. Sometimes it’s used to brand an entire city (looking at you Las Vegas. Hit me up for design ideas more exciting than a big glowing ball). 
However, ultimately Googie style is just fun and I decided to share some ideas from Playground AI (a free platform that’s great for experimenting with Stable Diffusion) and Midjourney. I hope you enjoyed your stay in Googie Land and made it out with your sanity. Leave a comment to get the workflow for your favorite concept in this showcase. For some (slightly) more serious posts exploring AI-inspired styles and workflows for architectural design, subscribe below and stay tuned.
AI Generated Art Nouveau Acanthus leaves Avatar - AI Architecture Blog

About the Author


Designer and engineer exploring the intersection of AI, architecture, and urbanism.



Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter

Interested in exploring other AI generated architecture concepts and design workflows? Sign up for our free mailing list below to be notified whenever we post new content here on Pixels to Plans.

Sign up with your email to receive the Pixels to Plans Newsletter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.