Frank Gehry's Grand Avenue towers are finally set to begin construction, over a decade after the project was initially proposed. Conceived as a public-private partnership, the towers are sited across from Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The project was designed from a central retail core into the two terracing towers with a mix of retail, entertainment and residences. The $1 billion complex aims to turn Grand Avenue into a full entertainment district.
Architecture, unlike other aspects of culture (such as fashion or music), can only really be experienced and understood in person. For highly branded companies, designing a new building can be a prime opportunity to signal taste and values - but also creates an interesting architectural conundrum. While the buildings will be inhabited (nearly 24/7) by company employees, they’re also very much populated by the imaginations of people across the globe. What is it like to be in these places?
This article was originally published on April 27, 2017. To read the stories behind other celebrated architecture projects, visit our AD Classics section.
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.
Gehry Partners recently completed Facebook's new MPK 21 building in Menlo Park, California. Expanding the company's existing footprint, the design was built in less than 18 months as a highly sustainable building. Formed to bring the outdoors into the office space, the project centers on a sheltered green space with 40-foot-tall redwood trees and an amphitheater-style courtyard that connects to the original Gehry-designed MPK 20 building.
LocationMillennium Park, 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60602, United States
Project ArchitectManoucher Eslami
Project TeamReza Bagherzadeh, Chris Banks, Saffet Bekiroglu, Tom Besai, James Jackson, Leigh Jerrard, Kurt Komraus, Jason Luk, David May, Chris Mazzier, Frank Medrano, Sy Melgazo, Napolean Merana, Chris Mercier, Julianna Morais, Diego Petrate, Lynn Pilon, Birgit Schneider, Tensho Takemori, Karen Tom, Scott Uriu, Adam Wheeler
Design PartnerFrank O. Gehry
Project DesignerCraig Webb
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’s designs for the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum have been revealed, and as its name implies, the museum is about to take miniature trains to the maximum.
Located on an 83,000 square foot site in North Adams, Massachusetts, just a few blocks away from contemporary art museum and artist residence Mass MoCA, the Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum looks set to become the preeminent playground for architects and model train enthusiasts alike.
New York City’s most buzzy megaproject, Hudson Yards, may have just added two more huge names to their list of notable architects, if a new report from the Wall Street Journal is to be trusted.
According to a source the WSJ describes as “a person familiar with the matter,” Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry will both design new residential towers for the second phase of the 28-acre complex, located at the north end of the High Line in west Manhattan.
Described as a “growth space” that will allow the company to expand their European presence, the new headquarters would span four buildings in King’s Cross Central – the same part of the city where Google is building its own 11-story “groundscraper” campus designed by BIG and Heatherwick Studios.
New renderings have been revealed of Gehry Partners’ Grand Avenue Project as construction is finally set to begin this fall. Located across from Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the development now known as The Grand will offer up retail, entertainment and residences within two blocky, terracing towers.
You’ve probably seen the ads. Popping out from your Facebook newsfeed, the Masterclass sales pitch immediately attracts the eye: beautifully backlit wooden models and silky hand sketching emphasized by orchestral swells are accompanied by an adorable pirouette by the one and only Frank Gehry. The combination of Gehry’s status and slick production has managed to amass over 1.6 million views for the trailer on Youtube. Even in the company of courses taught by Martin Scorsese, Deadmau5, and Samuel L Jackson, the lone architect impressively lays claim to the eighth most popular teaser in the Masterclass series. The production value alone is almost a convincing argument for the $90 USD price, a detail that is quietly left out of the trailer.
The course has been reviewed by a critic, a practicing architect, and a curator—but what of its ostensible target audience, the architecture student? Has Masterclass managed to crack the online class conundrum with cinematography and celebrity?
Originally conceived as as 22-story hotel and residential tower, the project has now been shortened to 12 stories (130 feet) to meet restrictions imposed by the city’s Downtown Community Plan, which calls for “aggressively slow growth” and a “lower scale downtown” of mainly 4-5 story tall buildings.
Architect in ChargeGehry Partners
Coinciding with their 100th anniversary, the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil) has announced plans to build a new, dedicated space for the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) to be designed by Los Angeles’ own Frank Gehry. Architect of Los Angeles’ and one of the world’s most famous performance spaces, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Gehry has been called upon to transform a 17,000-square-foot facility in the LA neighborhood of Inglewood that will allow LA Phil to reach its goal of doubling the number of students involved in its programs by 2022.
The Frank Gehry-designed Eisenhower Memorial has finally broken ground in Washington DC following a tumultuous years-long approval process.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held yesterday at the National Mall site, located at the intersection of Maryland and Independence Avenues and across from the National Air and Space Museum.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this month, has been hailed as a pinnacle of technological progress since its October 1997 opening. While the use of the modeling software CATIA (Computer Aided Three-Dimensional Interactive Application) was without question groundbreaking, some of the greatest moments of ingenuity during the building’s design and construction were distinctly low-tech. Developed between 1991 and 1997, the curved and angular titanium-clad building was conceived at the turning point between analog and digital practice. This profound shift enveloped and permeated every aspect of the project, from the design process and construction techniques to the methods of communication technology put to use.
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, creative production studio 59 Productions has put on a 4-day projection mapping light show, transforming the museum’s iconic shimmering surfaces into a canvas for a dazzling light display.
From October 11-14th, the 20-minute-long multisensory production Reflections combined music, light and projection, creating a show on the building’s north-facing titanium facades that told the story of the museum’s genesis and design.
The Extreme Model Railroad and Contemporary Architecture Museum has selected Gehry Partners to replace Gluckman Tang as lead architects of their new museum planned for the town of North Adams, Massachusetts, reports the Berkshire Eagle.
Along with the change in designer comes a change in location to an 83,000-square-foot site on Christopher Columbus Drive (near contemporary art museum Mass MoCA) and a major increase in scope – while original plans called for a 45,000-square-foot museums, new figures project the building will total as much as 75,000 square feet.