Tag archives for | Frank Gehry

Tag archives for: Frank Gehry

Featuring Hand Sketches of Frank Gehry, FAIA

Featuring the hand sketches of Frank Gehry provides an inside look into Mr. Gehry’s architecture. “I know I draw without taking my pen off the page. I just keep going, and that my drawings I think of them as scribbles. I don’t think they mean anything to anybody except to me, and then at the end of the day, the end of the project they wheel out these little drawings and they’re damn close to what the finished building is and it’s the drawing.” Frank Gehry, FAIA.  Because Mr. Gehry’s sketches are original and unique, we thought it fitting to launch our CFAeX Autodesk AutoCAD, Revit, and BIM Certification Exams home page is showcasing his work.  The CFAeX.com website has compiled a slideshow for you. View the slide show.

Frank Gehry Hand Sketches


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It’s All About Gaudi…


As you are climbing uphill; what seems like a continuous climb throughout the many hills of Parc Guell, you bravely steel a glance or two downwards and think that this is it.  This must be one of the more beautiful experiences of your life.  Gingerly you take each step with your camera in hand, careful not to drop the camera or anything else as you find yourself looking at, well, everything.  It’s an overwhelming experience, and in a good way.  Earlier in the year, my dad passed away, thereby making this my first vacation in a decade where I did not suffer from any family distractions.  No worries, but did I ever miss him!  I still do.  But it was one less thing to ponder as I was transversing uneven stone steps with nary a handrail in sight.  But I was just starting to speak of the beauty about this park, a must-see for anyone who travels to Barcelona, when I hit a few detours.  Count Guell was a prominent businessman in Barcelona at the early part of the last century.  He engaged a prominent architect, Antoni Gaudi, to design a garden city with sixty houses on a hill called Montana Pelada.  The venture was not successful and only two houses were built.  But an unsuccessful venture led way to one of the more beautiful parks you will ever see.  At the entrance, you will find the main staircase with a dragon fountain made of broken bits of glazed ceramic tile, a signature style for Gaudi.  This leads to the Salon of a Hundred Columns which really number eighty-four, but who cares?  The ceiling of the salon has more tiled mosaics.  In fact, they’re everywhere in sight.  The on-site museum contains splendid furniture that Gaudi designed.  And so it goes; you’ve walked for three hours, and have a big smile on your face.  You can’t wait to tell the story to all you know.

You’ve planned a week in Barcelona because you are wise and know that you will not be bored for a second.  You will want to come back.  As you continue drinking in the various Gaudi shrines throughout this beautiful city, you get to understand a bit more about the architect with each building.  Casa Batllo is truly amazing and I would suggest to go early in the day to avoid crowds.  The details on the doorknobs and locks; the center court and other means of ventilation were ahead of their time.  The rooftop dragon is not to be believed.  Next up is Casa Mila, his iconic monument to the Modernist movement.  It does not seem very livable, but once again, it’s all in the details.  The Sagrada Familia is no problem for anyone familiar with waiting on lines at Disney.  Wear comfortable shoes!  If you are able to go to the top of the towers, then you are lucky for you will view this beautiful city in the most unique way and it is breathtaking.

Okay, I lied.  It’s not all about Gaudi.  It’s also about the food.  As I’m re-reading my diary, the secondary descriptions that do constant battle with architecture are of the fantastic food.  As I read about the various meals of fish, meats and risotto, my mouth waters and I desire to savor them all over again.  Since we are incapable of dining at 10:00 PM, we chose instead to have our main meals of the day at lunch and have a more casual al fresco experience in the evening.

I lied some more.  It’s all about the walk.  Ever since I was twenty and I traveled to San Francisco with friends, I have always made note of how compatible I am with the place I am visiting.  San Francisco was fine but I quickly realized I couldn’t live with Californians.  In Barcelona, at some point we stopped and thought, “could I live here?”  Yes was the answer.  It is walkable; it is friendly; it is safe and clean; it is modern; it is old.  Barcelona is ideal.  The week was brimming over with a travelogue of lists consisting of everywhere we ambled and places we didn’t quite get to at this time.  Maybe, next time?  Because there was so much good stuff that really good architects had the sense to design and get built all in walking distance of each other.  More Gaudi, so much to see in the Gothic Quarter as you walk past what is left of a Roman aqueduct, the Picasso Museum and the Palau de la Musica Catalana (a music hall with a gorgeous stained glass ceiling).  And then there’s Gehry’s Fish.  Barcelona’s golden fish sculpture sits in Port Olimpic at the base of one of the tallest buildings in the city.  Frank Gehry was commissioned to build the piece for the 1992 Summer Olympics and brought the city to the attention of the world!  Wow!

Barceloneta -Gehry fish10

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Does being an architect imply you’re creative?

Does being an architect imply you’re creative?

I had someone remark recently that using the phrase “creative thinking” in my firm description was redundant because being an architect implies creativity.

Is that true?

We’ve all been in and seen our share of uninspired buildings that don’t deserve to be called architecture. A majority of the built environment is comprised of buildings. How can we all be so creative and wind up with the built environment we do? Isn’t there a distinction among architectural firms, those who fall in the more creative side of the spectrum (think Gehry, Hadid) and nuts and bolts production firms?

Doesn’t a market exist for both buildings and architecture?

If so, are there creative and non-creative architects?

Can creativity and creative thinking be quantified and marketed as a service?

Or is being an architect enough?

Robert Vecchione is an architect/designer and principal of the multidisciplinary firm Cobrooke Ideas-Architecture-Design (www.cobrooke.com)

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Eisenhower Memorial architect says he’s open to design changes in response to family criticism

This image provided by Gehry Partners shows the Eisenhower Memorial Pedestrian Experience. Planners of a memorial honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower respond to criticism that the Frank Gehry design puts too much emphasis on Eisenhower’s rural Kansas roots and not enough on his achievements as a military hero and president. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON – Famed architect Frank Gehry says he is open to design changes in a planned Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington to try to answer objections from Ike’s family.

A letter from Gehry was introduced as testimony in a House subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

Susan Eisenhower, the 34th president’s granddaughter, told the panel her family wants the memorial to be redesigned.

A hearing in Congress could pressure memorial planners to make changes. But the panel does not have a direct role in approving the design.

Final approval of Gehry’s concept from a commission that approves architecture in the nation’s capital has been delayed amid ongoing objections from the family. The family wants the project to focus more on Ike’s accomplishments and less on his rural Kansas roots.

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Signature Design by Gehry

Nowadays it seems like good architecture has to turn heads to be noticed, putting a burden on talented architects to provide flashy performance before thoughtful execution. And so it is a pleasure when one of the world’s most renowned, and scrutinized, architects, Frank Gehry, designs a quietly potent new kind of space as he has at the Pershing Square Signature Center on an Off-Broadway stretch of 42nd Street.

That there is little razzle-dazzle is just as well, because at the Signature the play’s the thing. And it always has been since founder and artistic director James Houghton established the company’s mission in 1991 to blast through the canons of living playwrights (Edward Albee, John Guare, Arthur Miller, August Wilson, among others) and to build audiences with affordable tickets (there are $20 seats for all productions).

The Signature’s new home exudes a workshop aesthetic and energy. The grand staircase is made of plywood, bolts and beams are visible throughout, the floors are all concrete, and sprayed-on stencils of playwright’s silhouettes decorate the sheetrock walls. It’s jazzy and mutable. That the lobby’s prime real estate is turned over to a vast open space ramping across two levels—with a bar, cafe tables, shop, window seats, couches and armchairs—sends an equally clear message that the audience is part of the production of that longest-running hit known as theater-going.

The three theaters—plus studio theater and rehearsal studio—all fall into the category of small Off-Broadway venues; the largest has 299 seats; the jewel-box and black-box theaters hold 199 seats each. Still it’s a big leap for the Signature from its former home base, where there were just 160 seats.

Along with the 100-seat theater now nearing completion on the roof of the Vivian Beaumont at Lincoln Center and the 299-seat Theatre for a New Audience under construction within Brooklyn’s BAM Cultural District—both designed by New York architect Hugh Hardy—it is also a gain for New York’s theater scene, particularly that segment devoted to the city’s teeming population of newcomers, strivers and on-the-verge or comeback talents.

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box, where Athol Fugard’s “Blood Knot” is now playing, is the most charming and successful of the Signature’s three theaters in the way it matches a true quality of intimacy to the smallness of scale. The edges of the space curl around to embrace the seats that appear more clustered than in rows. It’s a sensation reinforced by a balcony braced with overlapping, irregularly shaped panels. Mr. Houghton has described them as torn pieces of paper, perhaps in reference to Mr. Gehry’s reputed method of crumpling scraps to model his architecture’s curves.

The infinitely flexible Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre—with enough metal scaffolding to strap on a herd of horse puppets and folding-chair seats flanking both sides of a patch of stage—feels just as a black box should, raw and ready for conversion. And the 299-seat End Stage Theater is Broadwayesque in its largesse, particularly the stage itself. For the current performance of Edward Albee’s “The Lady from Dubuque,” an entire ranchhouse appears to spread out, a suburban forest glimpsed beyond its windows. The rake of the auditorium seating is just as generous, and the stained-plywood walls cut into loosely rearranged jigsaw pieces shade pleasantly from honey hues at the back to dark mahogany at the stage’s edge, a playful spatial echo of the houselights dimming. Would that part of the careful rethinking of the theater experience had included allowing more leg room between rows: If you are more than 5 feet 10 inches tall, expect to feel cramped.

For years, the Signature bounced around, renting space from the Public Theater downtown or holing up in a black box on Bond Street and then on far, far West 42nd Street. In 2004, the company was selected to be part of a revitalizing cultural mecca promised for Ground Zero. Mr. Gehry would be the architect of a new $700 million performing arts center, and the Signature would share marquee space with the Joyce Theater. But by 2007, with the whole site mired in controversy, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. decided to cut costs and disinvite the Signature, a blessing in disguise.

As it happened, development rights for a large parcel between Dyer Avenue and Tenth Avenue on 42nd Street hinged on including a performing-arts element to make up for two Off-Broadway houses that had been razed to allow for a subway extension. The Signature stepped right in, and Mr. Gehry stuck with the company, though they now faced the far more complicated job of fitting the theaters and all adjacent support spaces between the structural columns of a 62-story tower. Working with H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture as architects of record guaranteed finely tuned theatrical spaces. Hugh Hardy is a practiced hand at New York theater-making, having designed the original Joyce Theater, BAM’s Harvey Theater and many others. Collaboration may well be all the rage in architecture right now, but it’s still rare to see such high-powered talents giving each other an assist, making the Signature all the more notable.

And so it’s hardly worth complaining that the cafe chairs make an awful screech when dragged on those concrete floors, and that there’s still a line to the ladies room at intermission when the audiences of two of the three theaters come out to stretch. A bit of hubbub is, in fact, very much on the program, and it’s right that the architecture should reflect on that rather than on itself.


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Frank Gehry Turns to Asia for Architecture Projects as U.S. Growth Slows

Frank Gehry, designer of Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, is seeking projects in Asian countries including China and India as slower U.S. growth crimps development in the world’s largest economy.

The architect said he’s competing to plan a museum in one of China’s fast-expanding metropolitan areas, as well as a “very spiritual kind of a building” in India. He declined to give further details. Gehry designed an aquarium as part of the recent redevelopment of the Ocean Park attraction in Hong Kong.

Gehry, 82, is turning to Asia as developers start few projects in the U.S. The Architecture Billings Index, an indicator of American construction, plunged to 46.9 last month from 51.4 in August, reflecting lower demand for design services, according to the American Institute of Architects. Any score less than 50 indicates a decline in billings.

Meanwhile, “there’s an art explosion in China,” Gehry said in an Oct. 25 interview at Bloomberg’s Los Angeles offices. “It’s really great — very exciting.”

He expects to sign a contract within three to four months should an agreement be reached for the Chinese museum. One challenge of designing in a country such as China is the lower pay for projects, Gehry said. Architects get paid a percentage of construction costs, which in China are about a third of what they are in the U.S., he said.

“If you take a percentage and you work with western salaries, you can’t make it work,” Gehry said. “So it almost forces you to open an office in China and work with local people.”

Staying Near Home

Gehry said he would prefer to travel less and focus on projects in California or New York. The lack of development in the U.S. along with employees at Los Angeles-based Gehry Partners LLP who depend on him are forcing him to look elsewhere, the architect said.

“I have over 100 people in my office,” he said. “At my age, I would love only to work in Los Angeles, maybe Santa Monica, maybe Beverly Hills.”

Construction of one of Gehry’s projects abroad, the 450,000-square-foot (42,000-square-meter) Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum, was halted earlier this month by Tourism Development & Investment Co. as the emirate scales back plans made before the 2008 financial crisis.

“The Abu Dhabi building we’ve been working on in the last five to six years has been stopped, and that’s painful,” said Gehry, who also has a contract for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington.

New York Apartments

Gehry, who designed a Manhattan apartment building on Spruce Street that opened earlier this year, also is seeking to win contracts by cutting construction waste, which often accounts for 30 percent of a development budget. His Los Angeles-based Gehry Technologies Inc. employs the same type of computer-aided, paperless, three-dimensional design used to build Boeing Co. (BA)’s 777 airliner.

“With two-dimensional drawings there’s a lot of room for error,” said Gehry, the 1989 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. “It creates so-called clashes that will result in costly change orders.”

There were few such conflicts at the 76-story Manhattan tower — called New York by Gehry, and developed by Forest City Ratner Cos. — even with its rippled and curved bay windows, according to Gehry. Almost 600 units of the 900-apartment building have been rented, he said.

“You’ve got to respect budgets because people are investing and building and have certain finite resources,” Gehry said. “So it behooves us to respect that.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at [email protected]

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Portugal’s Eduardo Souto de Moura Wins 2011 Pritzker Architecture Prize


Portugal’s Eduardo Souto de Moura, who has designed soccer stadiums, museums and office towers in his home country, is the winner of this year Pritzker Architecture Prize, the highest honor for architects.

Among his best-known buildings are the soccer stadium in Braga, Portugal, where European soccer teams fought for the championship in 2004; and the 20-story Burgo Tower office block in his native city of Porto, built in 2007. Souto de Moura, 58, has also built family homes, cinemas, shopping centers and hotels and since setting up his own office in 1980.

Jury Chairman Peter Palumbo said Souto de Moura “has produced a body of work that is of our time but also carries echoes of architectural traditions,” according to a statement today from the Hyatt Foundation, which awards the prize.

“He has the confidence to use stone that is a thousand years old or to take inspiration from a modern detail by Mies van der Rohe,” the statement said.

Souto de Moura worked for fellow Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza for five years before founding his own company. Siza won the Pritzker Prize in 1992.

Other previous winners of the prize, which is worth $100,000, include Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas and Frank Gehry. The Hyatt Foundation established the prize in 1979 to honor a living architect.

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SFMOMA chooses architect for $250-million expansion: Norwegian firm Snøhetta

Snøhetta's Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo

Can an art museum in this economic climate raise $480 million for an ambitious expansion and endowment campaign without a world famous architect like Frank Gehry or Renzo Piano attached to the project?

SFMOMA has just placed a very big bet that it can, by selecting the critically acclaimed but not so commonly known Oslo-based firm Snøhetta — named after a mountain in Norway — as the architect for its large-scale renovation and expansion. The museum’s board of trustees approved the selection on Wednesday; an official announcement is expected Thursday.

The decision was not a complete surprise, as SFMOMA named Snøhetta in a shortlist released in May of four firms officially under consideration, which also included Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro and, most established of all, Foster + Partners. But, as SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra admits, Snøhetta is “not terribly well known in our country, and especially not in the West.”

Though Snøhetta has other buildings in development in the U.S., including the National September 11th Memorial Museum entry pavilion at the World Trade Center site in New York, SFMOMA promises to be the firm’s first building on the West Coast.

Reached by phone Wednesday evening, Benezra said a visit made by several trustees to Oslo, part of a grand tour this summer to meet the four finalists and see some of their realized buildings, played a decisive role.

He said the museum’s selection committee was bowled over by Snøhetta’s Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo (pictured above), as was he. “When I saw it for the first time, it reminded me of Bilbao — it has that kind of impact,” Benezra said.

“Not only is it a fantastic concept, but it’s also a model of engagement, with people walking inside and outside and on top of the building. And that is what we need: a building of great imagination and excitement that works on a practical level in a specific urban context.”

He also praised the collaborative nature of the firm, which was founded in 1989…more.

For full article click here.

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Gehry Partners Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas

This is one of my favorite Gehry buildings.  What is your favorite?  Hat tip to The Architects Newspaper


Frank Gehry once vowed never to build in Las Vegas, a place where serious architecture is submerged in a tsunami of kitsch, or fatally compromised by commercial imperatives. Larry Ruvo, who made a fortune as Nevada’s chief liquor distributor, refused to take “no” for an answer. He has been a passionate supporter of Alzheimer’s research since the loss of his father, Lou, to that disease.

Having formed an alliance with a major medical institution, he wanted a building that would be a magnet. He persuaded Gehry that this was a worthy cause and gave him creative freedom to design a research facility linked to an events space that would play a supporting role by generating income from rentals. The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health was inaugurated last Friday.

The center, while largely dedicated to research and treatment, also has an events space to help support its medical mission.

 Link to full article here.

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West 8 Replaces Frank Gehry on Lincoln Park Project, Miami

Simcoe Wavedeck in Toronto by West 8

Simcoe Wavedeck in Toronto by West 8

Frank Gehry has officially been replaced by dutch firm West 8 for the Miami Lincoln Park project. gehry and the city were at odds after he could not stick to budget.  the project will still ahve to be approved by the city of Miami before it’s finalized.

The firm specializes in contemporary landscape architecture and has designed projects including Governor’s Island New York, Bridges Parque Lineal de Manzanares, Madrid and most recently the Simcoe Wavedeck in Toronto.

The 2.5 acre park will serve as an entrance to the Gehry designed New World Symphony scheduled to open in january 2011. it will also provide an outdoor venue for concerts and expansive green space.

Via designboon

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