In the course of our daily reporting, we often uncover unusual projects, places, or connections that don't make the final cut. Instead of keeping it to ourselves, we're pleased to share our weekly Architrivia.

Our previous Architrivia chronicled the starring role of Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory in several world-famous video games and movies. Continuing with that theme, millennials familiar with a certain still-going-strong action franchise might recognize the 35-storey Fox Plaza in Los Angeles' Century City. Though the official name of the building likely doesn't ring any bells, images of the Postmodern skyscraper might conjure up memories of an iconic Christmas-set action movie that began the gritty story of Hollywood's "everyman" protagonist John McClane.

Fox Plaza, image by Mike Mitanis

Fox Plaza was designed by Scott Johnson, Bill Fain, and William L. Pereira, and was the last building Pereira worked on before his death in 1985. The headquarters of American film studio and distributor 20th Century Fox has become an ideal and convenient location for major movie shoots. The 1994 comedy Airheads used the location as its primary setting. It also appeared in the 1987 movie No Man's Land, the 1989 film Lethal Weapon 2, and as one the collapsing buildings in the finale of Fight Club.

Fox Plaza's porte-cochere, image by Mike Mitanis

But its biggest claim to fame is its portrayal as the fictional Nakatomi Plaza in the 1988 action film Die Hard. The scene of a dramatic hostage-taking, much of the building was destroyed in the movie, with windows shattered and entire floors exploded. The entire film, save for the first few minutes, is set within the confines of the complex. Although the destructive acts of the plot required the use of movie magic in the form of a scale model, many parts of the interior found their way to the big screen. The porte-cochere, lobby, and a still-under-construction floor played supporting roles as backdrops to the action. 

The porte-cochere of 'Nakatomi Plaza', image via 20th Century Fox

Fox Plaza has been bestowed more recent stardom in popular culture, this time in the world of gaming, where it serves as 'Weasel Plaza' in Grand Theft Auto V. The contemptuous designation continues with the series' traditional derision of Fox News.

Approaching Fox Plaza, image by Mike Mitanis

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