At its best, architecture has the power to confront the world’s most urgent social and environmental issues. The Los Angeles River sits at the center of many of these issues, thanks to the long-overdue plans to convert it from a concrete canal back into a social space and an ecological corridor; and thanks to its position as a symbol of the drought in California. In this serene video by filmmaker Chang Kim, the full length of the river is put on display, exploring a resource that is the topic of much debate in the Los Angeles area.
President Obama has named architects Frank Gehry and Maya Lin among the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. Established in its current decoration in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy, the award is presented to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Exhibition design is never straightforward, but that is especially true within the highly unconventional architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum. Hanging a painting in a traditional “box” gallery can be literally straightforward, whereas every exhibition at the Guggenheim is the reinvention of one of the world’s most distinctive and iconic buildings. The building mandates site-specific exhibition design—partition walls, pedestals, vitrines, and benches are custom-fabricated for every show. At the same time, these qualities of the building present an opportunity for truly memorable, unique installations. Design happens simultaneously on a micro and macro scale—creating display solutions for individual works of art while producing an overall context and flow that engages the curatorial vision for the exhibition. This is why the museum’s stellar in-house exhibition designers all have an architecture background. They have developed intimate relationships with every angle and curve of the quarter-mile ramp and sloping walls.
Even as modernism promoted the transparency of glass architecture, many within the movement were conscious of the monotony of large glass facades, with even Mies van der Rohe using elements such as his trademark mullions to break up his facades. But in the years since, countless uniform structural glazing skyscrapers have emerged and bored urban citizens. In response to this, unconventional reinterpretations of facades have gained interest.
Accompanied by the belief that light and brilliance could help in creating iconic architecture and a better human world, glass and metal have been innovatively transformed to create crystalline images. As a result, the locus of meaning in architecture has shifted from the internal space-form towards the external surface.
US tech-giant Apple Inc. have revealed that they will consolidate their UK operations to "a new Apple campus" in London's Battersea, at the heart of a site formerly occupied by the derelict Grade II* Listed Battersea Power Station. The 42-acre complex, which is currently undergoing major redevelopment (and is soon to have a public square designed by BIG connecting to the Electric Boulevard development designed by Norman Foster and Frank Gehry), will provide a mix of commercial space and residential zones. According to the London Evening Standard, Apple will be relocating around 1,400 staff from eight sites around the British capital to the former power station, occupying all six floors of the restored building's extensive new office space. They will be the site's single largest single tenant.
Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial One Step Closer to Realization After Finally Receiving Family Support
After years of steadfast disapproval of the proposed design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Eisenhower family has finally voiced their support for the Frank Gehry designed park and monument – once a few more minor changes are made.
The 15-year-long process has already seen a multitude of design tweaks and revisions, but it appeared to have been decisively green-lit last summer following final approval by the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC). In the past year, however, the project has once again stalled, as the Eisenhower Memorial Commission has struggled to find private donors following the withdrawal of congressional funding for the project in 2013.
Andy Klemmer has had a front-seat view of the making of some of the most important pieces of architecture of our time. The president and founder of the consulting firm Paratus Group, Klemmer was an essential part of the team that helped develop the iconic Guggenheim Bilbao. Since then, he’s gone on to consult on the California Academy of Science, the Perez Art Museum Miami, the Kimbell Art Museum expansion, working with architects like Renzo Piano, Herzog & de Meuron, and SANAA (to name a few). By liaising between institutions and their chosen architects, he has unique insight into architecture, its practice, and that essential part of the architecture puzzle: the client.
Lasting for close to two decades now, the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Exhibition has become one of the most anticipated architectural events in London and for the global architecture community. With this year’s edition featuring not just one pavilion but four additional “summer houses,” the program shows no sign of slowing down. Each of the previous sixteen pavilions have been thought-provoking, leaving an indelible mark and strong message to the architectural community. And even though each of the past pavilions are removed from the site after their short summer stints to occupy far-flung private estates, they continue to be shared through photographs, and in architectural lectures. With the launch of the 16th Pavilion this month, we take a look back at all the previous pavilions and their significance to the architecturally-minded public.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, in collaboration with the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), will host a public panel discussion about the life and work of architect Frank Gehry. Mr. Gehry will join Paul Goldberger, architecture critic and author of Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, in conversation with moderator Harry Cooper, curator and head of modern art at the National Gallery of Art.
The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) has announced plans to award Frank Gehry with the 2016 Leonore and Walter Annenberg Award for Diplomacy through the Arts "in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to our country’s rich artistic tradition."
“We are thrilled to be honoring Mr. Gehry, one of the world’s greatest living architects, with our eighth annual Annenberg Award. For more than five decades, his innovation, vision, and boldness of spirit in the field of architecture has been a profound inspiration. His architectural contributions have had a significant impact, not only on the world of architecture, but on culture and humanity on a global scale,” said FAPE Chairman Jo Carole Lauder.
Internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry (born 28 February 1929) has been headlining architectural news platforms since he established his Los Angeles practice in 1962 and remodeled his home in Santa Monica. Notorious for his expressive use of form (and its sometimes inflationary effect on project budgets), Gehry is best known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which fellow architect Philip Johnson once dubbed “the greatest building of our time.”
Frank Gehry is “a Robert Moses With the Soul of a Jane Jacobs” in This Long-Read on the Los Angeles River
A river is not usually the province of an architect. Cities grow around rivers, and buildings are built near rivers, but rarely is the river itself the subject of a design problem. Ever since news broke that Frank Gehry is leading a master plan effort for the Los Angeles River, there has been a marked increase in discussion of the river, though rarely with much historical background. Joseph Giovannini tries to correct this omission with his recent piece in the Los Angeles Review of Books, laying the groundwork from when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to line the river in concrete in the late 1930s to prevent flooding, and introducing all of the major players who have been working more recently to return the river to a more natural state.
Paul Goldberger: "Frank Gehry Really Doesn’t Want To Be Remembered as Somebody Who Just Did a Few Iconic Buildings"
After he achieved celebrity status at the turn of the millennium, in recent years the conversation around Frank Gehry has switched tones, going from near-universal admiration to widespread controversy. Yet according to Paul Goldberger, whose biography of Gehry was released in September, both adoration and critique of the architect might engender an overly simplistic interpretation of his long and storied career. In this interview originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Q&A: Paul Goldberger on Frank Gehry's Life and Work," Goldberger delves into the many ways Gehry has been misunderstood over the years, and how his work, his psyche, and the interplay between the two have made him one of the most conversation-worthy architects of a generation.
Frank Gehry isn’t just the world’s foremost architect; he is, by all public standards, also one of our greatest living artists. Paul Goldberger’s new biography (his first), Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, acknowledges the architect’s celebrity status but doesn’t acquiesce in it. Rather, Goldberger interrogates the peculiar psyche and restless contradictions of the man to shed light on the motivations behind the architecture. Metropolis editor Samuel Medina speaks to the newly minted biographer about defying genre conventions, unpacking the ambiguities of Gehry’s work, and giving reporters the finger.
Frank Gehry and critic Paul Goldberger sat down with Charlie Rose to "the art and science of architecture and Golberger's new biography, Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry." You can watch the full 34-minute discussion above.
In the mid-1980s, after literature had long been held hostage by postmodernist irony and cynicism, a new wave of authors called for an end to negativity, promoting a "new sincerity" for fiction. Gaining momentum into the 1990s, the movement reached a pinnacle in 1993 when, in his essay E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction, pop-culture seer David Foster Wallace, a proponent of this "new sincerity," made the following call to action: “The next real literary ‘rebels’ in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles... These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that’ll be the point. Maybe that’s why they’ll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘Oh how banal.'"
Architecture, ever in debt to the styles and ideas of other art forms, could learn a thing or two now from the resuscitation of American fiction at the turn of the millennium. It too is enduring an identity crisis, mired by pessimism and uncertainty - a reality made painfully clear this past January when a New York Times Op-Ed by Steven Bingler and Martin C. Pedersen, How to Rebuild Architecture, divided camps and made the design world fume. In the editorial, the authors spoke vehemently of an architectural profession that has become mired by egos and been disconnected from public needs. Things quickly got ugly, critics wrestled with critics and subsequently the public got involved. What no one seemed to take into account is that this type of hounding is at the core of the problem. In its current landscape the discipline has struggled with its past, been deferential to its present, and wrestled with the uncertainty of its future. In a moment when we have become addicted to despondency, can anyone win?
"An avid yachtsman," Frank Gehry has designed his first yacht. As Esquire reports, the traditional larch wood sailboat boasts titanium and red accents with windows clad in warped lattice work. "Foggy," as it's named (an acronym for Frank Owen Gehry), was designed for Gehry's friend and developer Richard Cohen. Gehry collaborated with naval architect Germán Frers, who was charged with keeping Gehry's design practical. "Don't let me go too crazy," Gehry told Frers. "The boat has to work."
Since the Los Angeles Times broke the news that the LA River Revitalization Corp has enlisted Gehry Partners to lead a new master plan effort for the Los Angeles River, there have been a slew of negative responses: the Friends of the Los Angeles River have refused to endorse the Gehry effort, reactions collected by the Architects Newspaper ranged from skeptical to angry, and Alissa Walker at Gizmodo did not mince words when her headline declared “Frank Gehry is the Wrong Architect to Revitalize the Los Angeles River.” These responses raise real and legitimate concerns - progress on the LA River has been years, if not decades, in the making. There is already a master plan, prepared by Mia Lehrer and Associates, and the US Army Corps of Engineers approved a plan to restore 11 miles of the river, known as Alternative 20, just this past July. There are worries that this new effort could threaten the current approvals and funding.
Frank Gehry is an easy target for criticism. His buildings can be polarizing, and his detractors are quick to seize on any defect. Details are trickling out slowly, but a recent presentation to reporters revealed that the plan would eventually identify locations for parks and real estate developments, as well as establish a unified design theme for future improvements such as pedestrian and bicycle paths. For his part, Gehry has emphasized the water reclamation aspects of the project - an especially timely subject in drought-stricken California. And in an interview with Frances Anderton on KCRW’s “Design and Architecture,” Gehry was quick to clarify, “It’s not a building, I’m not doing a building!”
Gehry Partners, alongside Townscape Partners, has unveiled plans to redefine the "gateway" to California's Sunset Strip. A cluster of five distinct, Gehry-esque structures, the mixed-use proposal is one of several design alternatives that have been proposed by Townscape for the site. If built, it would include two residential buildings, featuring a mix of rental and for-sale apartments, along with retail, entertainment programs, and public gathering spaces.