Earn $300 million by NOT hiring Frank Gehry

Photo: courtesy Curbed National
April 25, 2011

Had this been announced closer to April 1st, I’d suspect an April Fool’s Day joke, but…

An Iowa philanthropist and architecture aficionado—who wishes to remain anonymous—is offering a $300 million “reward” to any city anywhere in the world that’s brave enough to hire someone other than Frank Gehry to design its new art museum.

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Comments on: "Earn $300 million by NOT hiring Frank Gehry "

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Don't Hire Frank Gehry

Besides Gehry and Hadid - I would also include Rem Koolhaus, Richard Meier, Morphious and Renzo Piano

Don't Hire Frank Gehry

Besides Gehry and Hadid - I would also include Rem Koolhaus, Richard Meier, Morphious and Renzo Piano

Don't Hire Frank Gehry

Besides Gehry and Hadid - I would also include Rem Koolhaus, Richard Meier, Morphious and Renzo Piano

http://www.bdcnetwork.com/do-not-hire-frank-gehry

Besides Gehry and Hadid - I would also include Rem Koolhaus, Richard Meier, Morphious and Renzo Piano

Besides Gehry and Hadid - I

Besides Gehry and Hadid - I would also include Rem Koolhaus, Richard Meier, Morphious and Renzo Piano

Iowa Philanthropist

My guess is that this is but another Social Network phony story. More story that fact. If there really is someone in Iowa with that kind of money to give away, he or she might just buy corn futures and play the enthanol game. That's closer to home than some stupid architectural reward. Everyone of Frank's buildings are functional!!! The Disney Music Center in Los Angeles, the Glass Museum in Seattle and the Bilboa Spain Museum are treasures for everyone to see and they are functional. What about the Binoculars Building Headquarters of a world class advertising and design company in Venice, California? Did they too make some sort of a mistake to select Frank Gehry? So much for those words, how about all of the additional conditions that the coward philanthropist (if there is such a person) has attached to the "reward?" My guess is that the philanthropist has the condition that the design the front doors shall be approved by him/her in order to earn the "reward" . . . It is disgusting to see that the BDC staff and the Editorial Advisors, from the top down, has allowed this social network game to appear on the pages of this professional magazine.

art museums here and there

in a recent letter to the editor of 'architects newsletter' LA edition, i suggested that U Cal Berkeley could have hired a Cal grad to design the new film archive building, not a NYC firm. Even tho there is probably a local associate firm. But the new contemp art museum in LA will be privately financed, so it's up to the private money to decide who they want. So I make the distinction between private and public financing for important commissions. One role that public money can do is to encourage local architects, artists, etc. to 'step up'. "show us what you can do!" I've seen happy incidences where outside arch have 're-discovered' a local building tradition. But the cure for that is a matter of encouragement/openness/courage by the client and courage/awareness/study on the part of the designer. I think being 'regional' is a good thing! Why should a building in Phx metro look as if it was designed for a place like Rotterdam or Vancouver? So this philanthropists' mission to diss Gehry is off key. I like some of his Gehry's earlier works. I've been to Experience Music Project in Seattle, and Disney Hall, LA. EMP is a pretty simple building actually, a typ frame with a skin attached. Disney has some detailing issues that were not resolved, but i hear it's got great acoustics. But also having to retro 'refinish' the metal exterior skin to eliminate glare onto adjacent buildings, was a pretty serious oversight. shoulda been a better neighbor! This philantropists' mission is similar to Prince Phillip and his stubborn insistence on 'historic' design. I suggest that regional and local building character be encouraged. That way, when i go to someplace like Denver, i won't see the same design ideas, tweeked for the particular climate. Commercial design is obviously the hardest to adapt and to pay for, but I've seen it happen. Okay, lots of design and building traditions are carried by hand to the new location, like Santa Fe or Taos or New Orleans, but the adaptations are what make it worthwhile and meaningful to be there! But then there's Chicago! So I suggest the Iowan modify his grant proposal in such a way as to encourage new ideas, and build communities from the ground up, like indigenous plants. You odn't see too many saguaros growing next to the road in Iowa City! (btw: i was born in Sioux City, but grew up in AZ. -save the political jokes, i'm embarrassed, ok)

Earn $300 million...

...and not have to worry about the cost of rain water damage?

Earn $300M to NOT hire Frankie "the" G

Can we extend this, please to Zaha H too?

Frank Gehry

Wow! How do you interpret that?

Frank Gehry's ubiquity

What splendid comments about Gehry's swoopy tedium! While there undoubtedly can be a sense of attraction to the unpredictable curves of a building when one sees it for the first time, it soon becomes trite and repetitious to extreme. An "Intergalactic Recycling Station"! What a splendid jab! We are tasked with a most sensitive duty, that of creating the physical framework for our societies. A goodly part of our responsibilities is to make buildings work, stay dry in a deluge, stay cool in summer and warm in winter, all that while meeting the budget, all tedious tasks perhaps, but essential. Picasso once said that to be a great artist one had first to become a great artisan, a craftsman to whom no aspect of his medium was foreign. Gehry's legacy, I am afraid, is the notion that to be good, a design must merely be controversial to extreme, an idea eagerly picked up by his acolytes, to whom a notion of harmony is apparently an anathema.

Earn $300 million by not hiring Frank Gehry

Actually Goethe, not Frank Gehry, originally said that architecture is like frozen music. The quality of the latter's work seems simultaneous with the "clamour" of instruments at the start of a symphony - all the notes and instruments are there, just intentionally not rationally arranged or presented in a form coherent to the listener. In an era when admired style in architecture seems to be mimicing the effect of an intergalactic ship that has crash-landed on terra -firma, and no one has yet dared to clear away the debris, the work of on man squats out above all others for its audacity and "playfulness".

Earn $300 million by NOT hiring Frank Gehry

Great story. If only this were real but we can dream. As a member of the Jacksonville, Florida City Council and a less than ardent fan of "swoopiness", I would advocate that our city take the gentleman up on his offer. Our beautiful St. Johns River provides all the swoopiness we need. Mr. Gehry's latest project on the cover of one of your competitor publications looks like a earthquake hit Las Vegas.

The real issue about gehry buildings...

The real issue I see with these buildings is how they will function in 20 years. The general contractor will be blamed for the leaks and cracks and settlement issues of all these swoopy designs and in the end, it is the design that is at fault. frankly any civic leader who spends money on this typre of design should have his brain examined - all he hs done is put an albatross on the taxpayers to correct the problems over the life of the building. Private money - fine. taxpayer money - as bad as $100,000 pensions for civil servants.

Not Hiring Gehry

Gehry's stuff is an interesting curiosity, but I think there may be almost enough out there. The nicest way to influence the architecture of communities that I have seen in my 67 years is the one taken in Columbus, Indiana, where the International HQ of the Cummins Engine offered anyone local a grant of 10% of the Architects cost if they would hire a "world class" architect for their libraries, schools, city buildings, etc. That was about 40 years ago, and it has had a real interesting impact on the City's architecture; it is now something of a travel destination just to see the lovely variety of buildings that resulted. I know; I have gone out of my way on more than one occasion just to see it. Having said all that, however, it might be nice of someone in Columbus, Indiana, chose Gehry for something.

Frank Gehry

His designs while highly recognized are open for interpretation - But do they really reflect what the purpose if the building is intended for?? Only Frank knows for sure. I myself think his designs are a FAD and dated.

More opportunites could be a good thing.

At Belles Architecture, in Rockford, IL we are just 90 mins. from the Gehry designed pavilion in Chicago. We think is is wonderful that we have a building by Gehry that is so accessible and close. We were not aware, until this article, that there were so many buildings in so many locations. HOWEVER.... we are not yet ready to decry this as a bad thing. We would love to see a map locating major and minor Gehry structures. This overlaid with circles denoting travel times between the buildings. There is only one Pantheon, it is simply NOT accessible to the majority of the world. We will NEVER see Bilabo, or perhaps even LA or Manhattan. BUT we have seen the work of this master. We think the trade off of accessibility to the masses outweighs the potential for overused dullness. http://www.bellesarchitecture.com

reward for NOT hiring Frank Gehry

What a novel idea. "Black-listing" an architect, much the same as one would a pesticide salesman, who has consistent failed to honor or respect the nature of a facility to house worthy creativity. His ego alone should be worth $300M, discounting the awful "deconstrutiveism" of his landmark structures. They remain a poor testiment to the boards of philanthropy and their appreciation of quality architecture.

Frank Gehry

We all make our mark on this world in some fashion or another. But there is an age-old adage that claims "Beauty [art] is in the eyes of the beholder". While Mr. Gehrey's style of architecture may get to be too much and make us say "really, again?", he remains original as did Helmut Jahn (God forbid another United Airline terminal by him), IM Pei, Mies Van der Roh or Stanley Tigerman. Gehrey's' work is not as pleasant and organized as say, Richard Meier or Gensler, but it does say something about the chaos our world has become accustom to. Just be thankful it is not the 1970s brutalist architecture that still tortures our urban citizens after four decades. Perhaps your money is better spent tearing down a Walter Netcsh building? You can star by demolishing the University of Illinois, Chicago Campus "School of Art & Architecture".

Stop Frank

Halleluiah! Finally someone with sense. Gehry, to me, has always been the Micky-Dee's of architecture, building the same building (okay - some metal, some in brick used horribly incorrectly) in each and every city regardless of climate or culture. His approach is the antithesis of everything architecture and architects should be striving for. No respect for the community and no respect for the planet, and, from what I understand, no respect for the budget. A triple bottom line failure. Thank you to this Iowan voice of reason.

Stop Frank Gehry

Halleluiah! Finally someone with sense. Gehry, to me, has always been the Micky-Dee's of architecture, building the same building (okay - some metal, some in brick used horribly incorrectly) in each and every city regardless of climate or culture. His approach is the antithesis of everything architecture and architects should be striving for. No respect for the community and no respect for the planet, and, from what I understand, no respect for the budget. A triple bottom line failure. Thank you to this Iowan voice of reason.