Paul Goldberger: "Frank Gehry Really Doesn’t Want To Be Remembered as Somebody Who Just Did a Few Iconic Buildings"

09:30 - 2 December, 2015
Guggenheim Bilbao (1997). Image © Ivan Herman (ivan-herman.net) licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0
Guggenheim Bilbao (1997). Image © Ivan Herman (ivan-herman.net) licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0

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.

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, 2003. Image © Gehry Partners, LLP The very first sketch Gehry made of the design for the Guggenheim Bilbao. Image Courtesy of Gehry Partners Fondation Loius Vuitton, Paris (2014). Image © Todd Eberle New World Center, Miami (2011) . Image © Wikimedia user Alexf licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 +10

Images Revealed of Frank Gehry's “Gateway to Sunset Strip”

12:50 - 26 August, 2015
© Rendering by Visualhouse
© Rendering by Visualhouse

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.

Frank Gehry "Quietly" Helps Redevelop the Los Angeles River

12:21 - 10 August, 2015
Olympic Blvd. Bridge (1925) over the Los Angeles River. Image © Flickr CC User KCET Departures
Olympic Blvd. Bridge (1925) over the Los Angeles River. Image © Flickr CC User KCET Departures

Frank Gehry is said to be "quietly" working on a masterplan for the Los Angeles River in California. Prematurely announced by the Los Angeles Times, the City's mayor Eric Garcetti has confirmed the news, saying Gehry is producing "a master plan, in the truest sense of the word,” pro bono.  

“To have the [Frederick Law] Olmsted of our time focusing on this, I think, is extraordinary,” Garcetti said, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Frank Gehry to Redesign the “Gateway to Sunset Strip”

12:10 - 10 March, 2015
AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / Frank Gehry. Image © Gehry Partners, LLP
AD Classics: Walt Disney Concert Hall / Frank Gehry. Image © Gehry Partners, LLP

An overlooked strip mall at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards will soon be replaced by a mixed-use, walkable community designed by Frank Gehry. Known to be the “gateway to the Sunset Strip,” the West Hollywood site will be comprised of 249 apartments, restaurants, retail storefronts and a central plaza - all within "an environmentally sensitive building that complements and contributes to the historic architecture in the neighborhood.”

“Frank Gehry’s deep understanding of the property, its history and the context will elevate the project to the iconic and timeless status that it deserves,” said Townscape partner and project developer Tyler Siegel.

Frank Gehry’s Fondation Louis Vuitton / Images by Danica O. Kus

01:00 - 26 November, 2014
© Danica O. Kus
© Danica O. Kus

Architecture photographer Danica O. Kus has shared with us images of Frank Gehry's recently completed Fondation Louis Vuitton. Labeled as a "late-career triumph" by Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Hawthorne, the sailed glass structure teeters on the edge of a Parisian water garden in Jardin d’Acclimatation. For a closer look at the building's much-discussed structure, check out all of Kus' images after the break. 

© Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus © Danica O. Kus +23

Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial Clears Final Design Hurdle

00:00 - 17 October, 2014
Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission
Courtesy of Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission

The US Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) has approved Frank Gehry's revised design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC, meaning that after a fifteen-year process, all the involved parties have finally agreed on a design. Gehry's most recent design - a slightly scaled-down version of the one he produced in 2011, with the two smaller woven steel tapestries removed to open up the view to the Capitol - was approved by the National Capitol Planning Commission (NCPC) earlier this month, allowing the CFA to give their final verdict on the new design.

New Images Released of Foster and Gehry's Battersea Power Station Designs

00:00 - 7 October, 2014
Gehry Partners' "Prospect Place" Building, with Prospect Park Below. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station
Gehry Partners' "Prospect Place" Building, with Prospect Park Below. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station

The Battersea Power Station Development Company has revealed new images of the buildings on "Electric Boulevard," designed by Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners. As phase three in the development of the Grade-II* power station and its surroundings, the buildings will form the primary entrance to the site, connecting the planned Battersea Underground station with the power station and forming one of London's most distinguished high streets.

The released images show both the exterior and interior features of Foster's "Battersea Roof Gardens" Building (formerly called "The Skyline") and Gehry's "Prospect Place" and "Flower" buildings. Read on after the break to see all the images.

Residents' Lounge in Foster + Partners' Building. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station Gehry Partners' "Flower Building". Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station Electric Boulevard with Foster + Partners' "Battersea Roof Gardens" on the left and Gehry Partners' "Prospect Place" on the right. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station Residents' Lounge in Gehry Partners' "Flower" Building. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station +10

Revised Design Unveiled for Toronto's Mirvish+Gehry Towers

00:00 - 3 July, 2014
Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc.
Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc.

Frank Gehry and Developer David Mirvish have revealed the latest design iteration in their embattled plan to build a set of mixed-use skyscrapers in Toronto. The new design reduces the number of towers, from three to two, however the remaining towers are taller than before, with one at 82 stories and one at 92.

The buildings will house apartments, a new art gallery and space for OCAD University as previously planned, but the decision to use two towers instead of three means that three of the five existing buildings can be retained - including the Princess of Wales Theatre, and two designated heritage warehouses - sidestepping some of the criticisms of the previous scheme.

Read on after the break for Frank Gehry's take on the design

Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. +7

MCHAP Shortlists the 36 Most “Outstanding Projects” in the Americas

01:00 - 24 June, 2014

Wiel Arets, Dean of the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and Dirk Denison, Director of the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP), have announced the inaugural MCHAP shortlist – 36 “Outstanding Projects” selected from the 225 MCHAP nominees.

“The rich diversity of these built works is a testament to the creative energy at work in the Americas today,” said Arets. “When viewed alongside the innovative work by the MCHAP.emerge finalists and winner, Poli House by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen which we honored in May, we see the evolution of a distinctly American conversation about creating livable space.” See all 36 winners after the break.

Gehry's Berlin Skyscraper May Be Too Heavy for Alexanderplatz

00:00 - 9 June, 2014
Gehry Partners' winning design for the residential building on Alexanderplatz. Image © Gehry Partners, Courtesy of Hines
Gehry Partners' winning design for the residential building on Alexanderplatz. Image © Gehry Partners, Courtesy of Hines

After winning the design competition for Germany's tallest apartment tower in January, Frank Gehry's project for the building on Alexanderplatz has already run into problems over fears that the 150-metre building could be too heavy for its site. The German edition of the Local is reporting that Berlin's Senate has placed the plans on hold because of the building's proximity to the U5 branch of the U-Bahn tunnel, which it fears could be crushed under the weight.

More on the story after the break

Foster and Gehry Reveal Designs for Battersea Power Station

00:00 - 7 April, 2014
"The Skyline" on "The Electric Boulevard" / Foster + Partners. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station
"The Skyline" on "The Electric Boulevard" / Foster + Partners. Image Courtesy of Battersea Power Station

As phase three of London’s Battersea Power Station regeneration, Foster + Partners has collaborated with Gehry Partners to design the 42-acre development’s primary entrance. Together, the duo has envisioned “The Electric Boulevard” - a massive gateway connecting the Northern Line Extension station to the Power Station, which will be formed by an undulating Foster-designed tower known as “The Skyline” and Gehry’s five-building “Prospect Place.”

Housing more than 1,300 homes and over 350,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, the boulevard is expected to become one of London’s most distinguished high streets. 

Frank Gehry’s Ground Zero Performing Arts Scheme Abandoned

00:00 - 14 February, 2014
Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners
Original Proposal. Image © Gehry Partners

The recent hire of temporary artistic director David Lan has indicated that plans for Ground Zero’s “world center for the performing arts” is moving forward in New York. The famed London director will work alongside Charcoalblue managing partner Andy Hayles to revise the original Frank Gehry-designed scheme which, according to the center’s president, was prematurely designed. This leaves Gehry’s involvement unclear, as the initial 1000-seat center will be abandoned for a scaled down, three-theater house that ranges from 150 to 550 seats. Competition for funding also remains an obstacle, in light of venues such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s 2017 Culture Shed. You can learn more about the center’s update here

Congress Aids the Impending Doom of Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial

00:00 - 10 February, 2014
© Gehry Partners
© Gehry Partners

Congress budget cuts have officially stalled Frank Gehry’s controversial Eisenhower Memorial, according to a recent report, rejecting $49 million in construction funds and cutting the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s annual budget in half. Unless the commission is able to raise a substantial amount of private funds, as well as win support from the Eisenhower family (which is doubtful), Gehry’s “grandiose” memorial is unlikely to ever break ground. Despite this, the commission’s director is optimistic, stating that the FDR Memorial took nearly 45 years to get built. You can read more about the controversy here.

Frank Gehry Chosen to Design Berlin's Tallest Tower

00:00 - 3 February, 2014
© Gehry Partners, Courtesy of Hines
© Gehry Partners, Courtesy of Hines

Gehry Partners has been selected over David Chipperfield, Adjaye Associates and seven other practices in an invited competition for a 300-unit residential tower in Berlin. The winning proposal, deemed “the most compelling” by jury for its rotating stacks of sculptural, stone-clad cubes that rise up to 150 meters, is expected to be Berlin’s tallest skyscraper and Germany’s tallest residential tower. 

“Gehry’s design is strong in visual expression and introduces an unusually eccentric, new pattern for this location. Nevertheless, the façade radiates agreeable tranquility. In addition, the design blends well with the neighborhood and conveys all aspects of metropolitan living,” commented Regula Lüscher, Senate Building Director.

Gehry and Foster Selected to Regenerate Battersea Power Station

00:00 - 23 October, 2013
Courtesy of Battersea Power Station Development Company
Courtesy of Battersea Power Station Development Company

Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners have been selected to design phase three of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment project in London. Together, the prestigious duo will design a retail pedestrian street that will link the power station to the new Northern Line extension. In addition to this, each practice will design a residential building along the avenue, which will be Gehry’s first residential project in London. 

“Our goal is to help create a neighborhood and a place for people to live that respects the iconic Battersea Power Station while connecting it into the broader fabric of the city,” Gehry stated. “We hope to create a design that is uniquely London, that respects and celebrates the historical vernacular of the city.”

Gehry to Design New York Office for Facebook

00:00 - 4 June, 2013
via TechCrunch
via TechCrunch

Shortly after winning approval on their Frank Gehry-designed, Menlo Park headquarters in California, Facebook has announced plans to once again commission the Los Angeles-based starchitect to design a new office for their New York City team. By early 2014, Gehry is expected to refurbish an existing 100,000 square-foot, two-story office space - nearly twice the size of their current home at 335 Madison Ave - on 770 Broadway. 

Video: 'The Competition' Trailer

01:00 - 26 April, 2013

Madrid-based architect Angel Borrego Cubero of Office for Strategic Spaces (OSS) has directed and produced the first documentary focused on the tense process that characterizes an architectural competition. Appropriately titled The Competition, the film captures a fascinating account on how five world renowned architects - Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry, Dominique Perrault, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster - “toil, struggle and strategize to beat the competition.” The premise is based on a nearly forgotten, 2008 competition for a new National Museum of Art of Andorra, a small Pyrenees country nestled between Spain and France, which has yet to be realized. 

The Competition is expected to debut in late 2013. Updates will be available on OSS’s website and facebook.

Gehry Designs Mixed-Use Tower for Downtown Santa Monica

00:00 - 4 March, 2013
© Gehry Partners
© Gehry Partners

Developers M. David Paul Associates and the Worthe Real Estate Group have commissioned Frank Gehry to design a mixed-use hotel and residential tower in his hometown of Santa Monica, California. The 22-story “Ocean Avenue Project” aims to stimulate the coastal city’s economy with street-level restaurant and retail space below a 125-room hotel and 22-unit condominium tower topped with a rooftop observation deck. As for accommodating the car-centric lifestyle of the West Coast, resident and visitor parking will be available in a three-story subterranean garage beneath the tower. In addition, the developers plan to integrate a 36,000 square foot museum campus that will add a cultural perk to the development just North of its two-acre site. 

Although this project looks promising, the 244-foot, Gehry-esque tower is currently pending approval from the City. A vote by the end of March will decide its fate.

More images of the “Ocean Avenue Project” after the break...