Construction is an exercise in frugality and compromise. To see their work realized, architects have to juggle the demands of developers, contractors, clients, engineers—sometimes even governments. The resulting concessions often leave designers with a bruised ego and a dissatisfying architectural result. While these architects always do their best to rectify any problems, some disputes get so heated that the architect feels they have no choice but to walk away from their own work. Here are 6 of the most notable examples:
What did Pritzker Prize winner Frank Gehry get when he designed the Stata Center, an exuberantly whimsical academic complex for MIT? A very large check, plus a major lawsuit, alleging negligence and breach of contract due to rampant leaks, mold, cracks, drainage problems and sliding ice. Sometimes the most inspired designs can go awry. And when they do, some clients lawyer up. Here are 9 fascinating examples.
From the architect. Even at the Vitra Campus in Weil-am-Rhein—a collection of furniture factories, offices, showrooms, and galleries, many of which are the products of iconic architects—the Vitra Design Museum stands out as exceptional. With its sculptural form composed of interconnected curving volumes, the museum is the unmistakable work of Frank Gehry – an architect who has built a legacy for himself upon such structures. What may not be immediately apparent is the crossroads that this serene white building represents: it was in this project at the southwestern corner of Germany (close to the Swiss border) that Gehry first realized a structure in the vein of his now signature style.
Google Earth is no longer a clunky, data-intensive desktop or mobile application. As of today, one of the tech-giant's flagship (and unrivalled) products has been relaunched as a widely accessible web application for Google Chrome. This means that anyone can now access the full Google Earth product, free of charge, without having to install software or download mobile applications.
The Getty Research Institute has announced their acquisition of the Frank Gehry Papers, a major archive covering work from the architect’s career, including drawings, partial and complete models, project documentation, correspondence, photographs, slides and related materials pertaining to 283 projects from Gehry’s early to mid career.
“Frank Gehry is undoubtedly the world’s most famous living architect. This extensive archive, covering the first three decades of his illustrious career, offers an in-depth look at the genesis of Gehry’s distinctive style and includes many of the projects for which he is internationally known,” said Thomas W. Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art has broken ground on the Core Project, a $196 million transformation of its main building led by Frank Gehry. In total, the renovation will add a total of 90,000 square feet to the museum, including 67,000 square feet of new public space, 11,500 square feet of gallery space for the museum’s American Art collection, and another 11,500 square feet of contemporary art display space.
As suggested by its name, The Core Project will focus on the heart of the museum; the main circulation of the building will be completely reorganized and museum infrastructure will receive much-needed upgrades, improving access to the community and enhancing the visitor experience.
When Philip Johnson curated the Museum of Modern Arts’ (MoMA) 1932 “International Exhibition of Modern Architecture,” he did so with the explicit intention of defining the International Style. As a guest curator at the same institution in 1988 alongside Mark Wigley (now Dean Emeritus of the Columbia GSAPP), Johnson took the opposite approach: rather than present architecture derived from a rigidly uniform set of design principles, he gathered a collection of work by architects whose similar (but not identical) approaches had yielded similar results. The designers he selected—Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Daniel Libeskind, Bernard Tschumi, and the firm Coop Himmelblau (led by Wolf Prix)—would prove to be some of the most influential architects of the late 20th Century to the present day.[1,2]
“If it hadn’t been for Frank Gehry, we would have made a simple, straightforward concert hall where students play concerts. But if the space is there, and somebody so gifted, like him, is prepared to do that, then of course you have to do that” - Daniel Barenboim, Founder, Pierre Boulez Saal.
In this Facebook video, Frank Gehry discusses the circumstances of his most recently-completed project, the Pierre Boulez Saal concert hall in Berlin, and the significance of contributing a new venue to Berlin’s historic musical scene.
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 has been selected by online education platform MasterClass to lead an interactive architecture and design course on his creative process. The course will include 15 video lessons, and critique from the architect himself on select student work.
At a cost of $90, the lessons will cover Gehry’s career and architectural philosophy, illustrated with sketches and models from Gehry’s private model archive. Each lesson will offer a downloadable workbook with notes and assignments for the week. Students will then be able to upload videos for the opportunity to get feedback from the class and Frank himself.
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.