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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Bridges & Small Worlds: California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA

One of the most unique modern buildings buildings in Los Angeles is the California NanoSystems Institute located on the UCLA campus.

I walked by the exterior of this building for years - having no idea what the interior courtyard (pictured) looked like.

Taking a shortcut earlier this year while on campus - I discovered the CNSI's interior courtyard with it's six different bridges connecting different random floors and parts of the building to each other.

Here's a arial view from google earth, where you can see the six different bridges. To the right is the UCLA south campus "court of the sciences."

The interior courtyard isn't really a courtyard.

This being Los Angeles, it's a parking lot.

You can see how the entire western side of the building cantilevers over the parking lot area - a pretty impressive feat of engineering.

Another shot of the bridges. It felt like a movie set.

From up above, you get another perspective. As this is a working research facility, access to several of the bridges was limited. I think it was OK walking around and taking pictures, but I didn't want to walk across a bridge only to find the door on the other side locked.

Thinking about it, I don't think I saw anyone walking on any of them the entire time I was there. That doesn't mean they're never used - but they did seem under used.

A final shot.

Apparently, the CSNI building is a "secure facility" (their words) but offers tours by appointment:

While maybe not worth a special trip, the California NanoSystems Institute is worth stopping by and seeing if you're any where near UCLA.

Here's their website.

© 2010



Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Nice shots of what we at CNSI affectionately call the "Harry Potter Walking Bridges." The CNSI building is a secure facility, but we offer tours of the building by appointment. If you or any of your readers would like a tour, feel free to request one during business hours by emailing


Mike Rodewald
Marketing & Communications
California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA

David from L.A. said...

thanks, Mike - I added that info to the blog post