It can't be easy being the world's most famous living architect. Sometimes you have to say what's on your mind. Sometimes words just won't do. No, that's not Frank Gehry demonstrating the spire of his newest skyscraper. That's Frank Gehry giving you—and all his his many critics—the finger.
Now, keep in mind, this is the same architect who built this:
The same man who many consider the world's worst living architect. But Gehry's digit was raised nonetheless recently, at a press conference covered by El Mundo in Oviedo, Spain—not far at all from his beloved Guggenheim in Bilbao—where he was receiving an award.
Sure, Gehry has become a little more crotchety in recent years, but things were going as well as could be expected, until a reporter asked this: "How do you answer to those who accuse you of practicing showy architecture?"
The crowd fell silent as the Great Gehry replied by slowly curling his hand into a fist and extending his middle finger towards the sky. The moderator asked for the next question. But Gehry was not finished, according to El Mundo (translated back into English by our own Jesus Diaz):
Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98 percent of everything that is built and designed today is pure shit. There's no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that's it. Once in a while, however, there's a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don't ask for work. I don't have a publicist. I'm not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don't ask questions as stupid as that one.
This was followed by a long, uncomfortable silence, according to the report.
Eventually Gehry managed to mutter an apology, explaining that he was tired from his trip.
Hey, no need to apologize, Frank! You're 85! And you know what? You can keep on building whatever shit you want!
Gehry's new Fondation Louis Vuitton, which opened last week, via Christophe Ena/AP
Top image: AP
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Of course it should be argued that his work is shit.
"Of course it should be argued that his work is shit."
That could certainly be argued... by any idiot or blind person.
We could also argue that all human endeavor and art is shit, because that makes about as much sense as complaining about some funny looking buildings.
I would argue that your sentence is poorly structured and unintelligible. What are you even saying?
a lot of his stuff is dumb and ridiculous, but compared to the 'modern' style of shitty squares with swoopy spires on parking pedestals, at least they are different.
generic buildings are always going to be the norm, and the world needs Gehry's to build big fuckin weird shit ever here and there to keep the worlds cities from getting completely filled by generic companyman garbage.
you can ignore a painting in a museum, but everyone has to see and deal with architecture in their city. at least make some of it different.
You sir won my Star for the day.
Consider: Frank Gehry is an architect today, so I 100% agree with him.
People are never ever going to let him live it down for the EMP, are they?
I feel sorry for the people that have to see that everyday.
Nothing in it worth looking at either.
Not my thing, but will still take this over the gargantuan glass tumour atrocity that Daniel Libeskind made of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto >:(
Nothing like buildings that pierce your corneas just by being seen.
WTC 1 is also Liebeskind isn't it? Simply awful. I don't know how much responsibility he bears and how much of it became design by committee. That building is one gigantic lie.
No idea all I know is that the ROM is now a garish mess and an eyesore and anytime I'm around that spot of Bloor it's maddeningly and sadly unavoidable. I remember when they started cutting up the original classic stone and brick building to make way for it and I wanted to cry.
Liebeskind designed the first pass at WTC 1, but they changed it and bastardized it and he's no longer affiliated with the project. Big stink was made over that.
He admitted he was a hack. He was the keynote speaker at the Society for Neuroscience conference in 2006 (I don't know why and he didn't know why either). He talked about designing buildings and his process. Essentially, he just scribbles shit down on a piece of paper and throws it away. Then, an assistant goes through his garbage and builds it.
Why, he even joked about that on the Simpsons.
Man, South Park was right. The Simpsons have done everything!
And that was actual Frank Gehry too, not just some voice actor playing the part.
Of course his work is showy architecture. That's what his clients pay him for. If I could afford a Gehry design I would hope people will damn well know it's one of his works.
Personally, I like his designs. Not only are they eyecatching, but functional. Personally, I have a few ideas for some unconventional building designs I'd like to do. Most designs today would clash with their environment, I'd prefer designs that both blend and complement their environments.
It doesn't have to be all curves and bent structures, but linear, off vertical or horizontal lines utilized with the right materials, can not only produce unique buildings, but buildings that people would want to live in.
Sometimes, combining elements of semi-conventional designs can produce unique and attractive buildings, but only if given the proper approach.
I think Bauhaus should still be prominent. I think that's a timeless style.
Don't know much about Bauhaus, but brutilism and gothic styles tend to apeal to me, In some ways one could say that the Chrysler building in New York was one of the last of the flashy gothic buildings, while a number of Soviet designed buildings, even the ones with inlaid murals, were often more brutilist more following function over form.
I also like it when Architects get playful. Like with upsidedown houses, multi bubble dome homes, and a variety of fantasy / fantastic designs meant to evoke classic fantasy novels and folk tails.
While buildings should be functional, they should also be on some level fun and personalized, at least with houses. I would love to drive down a neighborhood street and see a neo-gothic house sitting next door to a dome home, with an A frame across the street and a barn style community center a bit further down. Form and function are important elements but we should learn to build buildings that not only house our companies but, appeal to an estetic that promotes innovation and imagination. Most current skyscrapers today are bland and boxy things showing little imagination or freedom of form, most of the buildings in Dubai are an exception to this with buildings that look like they belong to either a far future or a fogotten future.
This is the sort of estetic I'd like to see world wide.
I have always said this, modern architecture is shit. Mostly boxes that look like shit. Our ancestors built incredible civilizations with architecture and skill we can't or aren't willing to match with modern machines and materials. Architecture is not just about how big a building is but how beautiful it can be.
They also used slaves and highly inefficient materials... not to mention ignoring ergonomics in favor for grandiose interiors, etc... If we built like they did, no way in hell could we support the earth's population.
Less people, more fancy buildings please.
There are 2 aspects to architecture, inside and outside. Gehry dazzles us on the outside but often I found the insides lacking in ways that I look for. I am a fan of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He is known for 'less is more' in architecture. Gehry has high paying clients. He gained his fame by using software designed to create the building pieces for rounded things like airplanes and their wings. With that software and lots of $$$ you could create almost any shape. This comparison is only my own opinion. Architecture is an art so there is no structured answer as to what is good or bad.
The interior of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A. is visually beautiful and acoustically flawless.
His "work" is ugly as sin. Much like looking back at fashion of the 80's and 90's. Shake our collective heads and say "What the hell were you smoking?"
Psykram is an ISIS/IS Supporter... fuck this guy.
i see this building, and i think of this re-do of the ROM in toronto:
so, with regards to his "human" comment, architecture like this, exciting! woo! angles! yay! except if you 1) need to put in a display (because its a museum) 2) need right angles 3) have any touch of vision problems or vertigo.
But Gehry did not do this monstrosity. Gehry at least builds with a sense of uplifting movement. Libeskind likes to drop giant broken glass shards, crash landing in this case with decapitation of buildings and humans alike.
No one deserves to be mistaken for Liebeskind...
The next question should have been, "Frank Gehry who?"
I have no idea who this guy is nor why this is on Giz. While the above bit of architecture is interesting, it will be a massive and expensive pain the neck to keep clean and shiny.
It can't be easy being the world's most famous living architect.
It's in the very first line of the article.
Frank made this. It looks like a nice building that melted.
… melted into a not-as-nice building.
"Once in a while, however, there's a small group of people who does something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don't ask for work. I don't have a publicist. I'm not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture."
Agreed. His name was Frank Lloyd Wright, and for all his character flaws, he designed buildings that were actually beautiful and special and innovative and absolutely nothing like the "art" pictured above.
Robie House, Illinois
Hillside (Harold Price Jr. House), Oklahoma
Kentuck Knob (I.N. Hagan House), Pennsylvania
Kraus House, Missouri
Robert H. Sunday House, Iowa
Rosenbaum House, Alabama
Guggenheim Museum, New York City
Ahh, nothing like debating merit based on subjective criteria. I'm disappointed that Frank did not come up with an equally offensive, but more reasoned and worthwhile response.
What I think it interesting is that he's right, but we should be including his own work in the 98% category. Frank could have made a compelling argument for his buildings as art, as a study in composition, as sculptural elements, and in that sense, his buildings are phenomenal - and "showy" could be considered descriptive of the compelling works of art his buildings tend to be.
Here's the thing - his buildings, while being works of art, are shit buildings! They leak, they're expensive, their occupants get lost in them, fry in the summer, freeze in the winter. Much of what he is calling pure shit are miles beyond his buildings from a functional standpoint. He could have discussed the varying methods of establishing your architectural priorities. Whether a beautiful building can be praised even if it leaks, and whether an ugly building can be praised because it functions remarkably well. Instead he whined about how everyone picks on him. Aww, he's so misunderstood, poor guy.
They leak, they're expensive, their occupants get lost in them, fry in the summer, freeze in the winter.
A building that can't provide shelter for it's occupants is a poorly designed building. You can start experimenting with style after you've achieved the most basic function of a building.
A rare honest moment.
And that there was a long uncomfortable silence means that it sunk in.
He did NOT say architecture today is pure shit. He said 98% of everything built today is pure shit.
That's always true in any field of human endeavor. There's a common saying the the UK, "The history of the theater is the history of bad plays". A university friend of mine back in 1990 used to say that you can generalize that to, "98% of everything is shit".
Music? 98% shit.
Movies? 98% shit.
Books? 98% shit.
Buildings? 98% shit.
Blog posts? 98% shit.
Ghery does what all great showmen have done - separate a lot of money from people who have a lot of money. The buildings he creates are showy, expensive to build, expensive to maintain, and demonstrate the ego of the buyer above all. There's no more humanity in concrete, stainless steel, and glass when they are formed into random shapes than when they are simplified into regular ones. Much of the marvel of the works is they look like they will fall down, but don't. Unlike previous ones, he has the benefit of modern structural stress analysts to keep his visions from collapsing.
Dr. EMAD HANI ISMAEEL
Ph.D. in Technologies for the Exploitation
of the Built Heritage .
Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Architecture
College of Engineering , University of Mosul
Mosul - Iraq .
Web Site: https://mosul.academia.edu/EmadAlallaf
Tel : +964 (0)770 164 93 74