The apartment building, or simply the building, refers to the apartment building at 2311 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, California. When viewed from the satellite photographs in "The Countdown Reflection" episode it appears to be located at 215 South Madison Avenue. Leonard, Sheldon, and Penny occupy apartments on the fourth floor. Adjacent to a lamp store, it is located about a block from Pasadena City Hall, which is visible through Sheldon and Leonard's window. The building is also located near a Chevron station on Colorado Boulevard, being that Leonard makes the excuse that he uses its bathroom when he and Penny began seeing each other for the second time in season 5.
The apartment building has at least five floors and sixteen apartments (based on the number of mailboxes). The Elevator has been broken for several years, after it was damaged by one of Leonard's experiments involving rocket fuel, as explained in 'The Staircase Implementation' causing everyone to take The Stairs. The building also contains a laundry room in the basement.
During the initial production of The Big Bang Theory , Chuck Lorre stated that the set department had built him a stairwell with three walls, and he didn't know of what to put on the third wall being that it was the most visible. One of his producers suggested that Chuck Lorre put in a broken elevator, which would add to the reason why the characters had to use the stairs.
The only separate sets built for the apartment building (albeit the apartments) are the lobby (ground floor), the laundry room, and the roof. The stairwell is the same set for all shots, but accessories and details are changed inside the hallway between each shot filmed to create the illusion that the actors are ascending or descending each floor.
The first floor contains the lobby, which is the entrance to the apartment building. It also contains the mailboxes of the residents who live in the building. This also contains the elevator doors that say out of order, or have the caution tape over them. It's also suggested that the first floor has unseen apartments on it, being that this is the floor which housed tenants from whom Leonard bought the couch.
In case you haven't noticed, the veining in the marble on the elevator walls, and in the light sconces are exactly the same on each floor. (They use the same set for each floor during stair-climbing or decending scenes..
The earliest version of the apartment building is seen in the episode "The Staircase Implementation".
The first resident of the building that we see in "The Staircase Implementation" is Louie/Louise when Leonard accidentally knocks on the door to his 4B apartment instead of Sheldon's, 4A. We also catch a glimpse of Sheldon's former roommate named "Sebastian" (Steven Yeun) exiting the then functioning elevator, and he warns Leonard about Sheldon. We also know that there is an apartment opening up on the first floor being that Leonard buys the sofa from them for a hundred dollars. As of the fifth season, Sheldon has been living at 2311 No. Los Robles for eight years.
In "The Staircase Implementation", we learn that the elevator was working at this time being that Leonard uses it to get to the fourth floor. We also learn that Leonard had miscalculated the formula for an experiment that he was doing with government grade rocket fuel that he was developing. Seeing that the cylinder was about to explode, Leonard attempted to take it out of the building, via the elevator. Sheldon knew that Leonard would not have time, so he pulled Leonard out of the elevator and closed it with the cylinder inside. The cylinder exploded and permanently disabled the elevator. Leonard considers himself being in Sheldon's debt not only for saving his life, but not telling the landlord or the government about what happened. This is the reason why he chooses to keep living with Sheldon.
Where is the apartment building located?Edit
The apartment building is located in an entirely fictional location according to Chuck Lorre. He states that the views from the apartment windows were simply pictures of Pasadena taken for the production of the show. Some fans have attempted to pinpoint the exact location of the apartment building, but nothing has been confirmed as accurate. While there is a North Los Robles Avenue in Pasadena that is in close proximity to Pasadena City Hall, and there are several apartment buildings in that general area (albeit none from the angle that either Sheldon or Penny's apartments show), those addresses would be 1 or 2 North Los Robles. 2311 North Los Robles is several miles from City Hall, and is mainly a residential suburban community with no known apartment buildings in the area. Then according to Google Maps last civic number in North Los Robles is 2099 so 2311 doesn't exist,
Referencing the photo at the top of this page and the speedy zoom at the end of "The Countdown Reflection", the location of the building used to represent the apartment complex for the Google Earth shots is 215 S Madison Avenue, Pasadena, California. A small 3-floor apartment building is located at 215 S Madison Avenue; however this building is located 6 minutes away from No. Los Robles Avenue, and therefore does not indicate any real-world connection.
An additional considerations: In the episode when Sheldon tries to learn to drive (the Euclid Alternative) Penny uses Euclid to take him to work at Cal Tech (main address 1200 E California). Leonard always use Los Robles. From the Madison location either would be out of the way. From the Los Robles address Euclid would make no sense as it parallels Los Robles and is a residential street. However Madison is relatively near Colorado Blvd (the Chevron station) while 2311 N Los Robles is over two miles away.
- ↑ according to Penny in "The Friendship Contraction" (S5E15).
- ↑ mentioned in "The Staircase Implementation" (S3E22)
- ↑ Mentioned in "The Tangerine Factor" (S1E17)
- ↑ Mentioned in "The Vartabedian Conundrum" (S2E10)
- ↑ Appeared in The Dead Hooker Juxtaposition (S2E19)
- ↑ Mentioned in "The Nerdvana Annihilation" (S1E14)
- ↑ Shown in "The Lunar Excitation" (S3E23)
- ↑ Shown in "The Countdown Reflection" (S5E24)