“Every great architect is, necessarily, a great poet.”

“He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.” ― Frank Gehry


When it comes to visual poetry, famed Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava’s arguably greatest and most ambitious project was unveiled with much-deserved fanfare at New York City’s reimagined World Trader Center.  His gorgeous transportation hub, Oculus, reminiscent of a bird’s wings, is less about stunning architecture and daring design and rises to something even greater―that of art.

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If Architecture is Woman, this is the Sophia Loren of buildings (part deux…)

Zaha Hadid’s passing was a shock to the world of architecture and aficionados of great art alike.  She brought a unique feminine mystique and perspective to the projects entrusted to her, never compromising a very distinct point of view.  If the limits of engineering were tested by her ground-breaking building lines, the results undeniably became timeless.  We’re including some of her greatest achievements here and a copy of a post from last year about her first project for New York City.


Pritzer Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid unveiled her first project in New York City, a condominium at West 28th Street near the city’s High Line pedestrian park.  Her characteristic materials, which bend into sensuous curves much like Frank Gehry’s titanium designs for the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, are showcased spectacularly.  The High Line’s Standard Hotel, which sits atop the park, has been that urban project’s focus for some time.  It now has competition.

Blurred Lines…

The Guggenheim, already a world-renowned institution, was propelled in the stratosphere with the opening of its Frank Gehry-designed Bilbao institution.

© commons.wikimedia.org

© commons.wikimedia.org

The architect took his talent for sensuous and curved titanium materials and applied it in ways we had never seen.  Along the way, it also put Bilbao, Spain on the map in the world of cultural institutions.  And even though Gehry adapted his trademark look for Walt Disney’s Concert Hall in Los Angeles, nothing could approach the groundbreaking look of his Guggenheim original.  Imagine then the skipped heartbeats that took place when the famed museum launched a search for someone to design its latest location–in Helsinki, Finland.

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Gehry’s Spruce Street building in New York City.
© commons.wikimedia.org

Kudos belong to the winner Moreau Kusonoki Architects which managed the same feat Gehry did but only by going in a completely different direction–that of understated, minimal elegance.  Taking local materials and the Scandinavian art of simple, minimalist lines, Kusonoki’s winning design becomes part of the Finnish landscape, blending harmoniously in her surroundings.  I’m counting the days to its opening so I can visit and experience first-hand this achievement.

© cnn.com

© cnn.com

© guggenheim.org

© guggenheim.org

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has struck not gold…but titanium.

The City of Brotherly Love has bragging rights to one of the world’s greatest art museums and its about to undergo a 10-year expansion project–overseen by none other than Frank Gehry himself.  The renovation will vastly expand the museum’s space and features a tremendous underground construction project.

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© 2015 commons.wikimedia.org

The famed architect will create a series of exhibition halls lit by natural light but the ultimate question on everyone’s mind is, of course, will the new space feature the architect’s signature curved titanium hallmarks, so brilliantly used in the Guggenheim’s Bilbao outpost or L.A.’s Disney Concert Hall ?  It’s too soon to tell but there is a new exhibition devoted to the project opening 1 July called “Making a Classic Modern: Frank Gehry’s Master Plan for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.”

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Rendering © Gehry Partners, LLP

If Architecture is Woman, Zaha Hadid has just designed the Sophia Loren of buildings…

Pritzer Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid has unveiled her first project in New York City, a condominium at West 28th Street near the city’s High Line pedestrian park.  Her characteristic materials, which bend into sensuous curves much like Frank Gehry’s titanium designs for the Guggenheim Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, are showcased spectacularly.  The High Line’s Standard Hotel, which sits atop the park, has been that urban project’s focus for some time.  It now has competition.

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© 2013 Zaha Hadid Architects

Hardly known as a city with a famous skyline…

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© 2013 commons.wikimedia.org

…the iconic CN Tower notwithstanding, Toronto is often maligned by even its own residents as the lesser of the two in comparison to Montreal.  Perhaps it has leveled the playing field a tad, however, in its sibling rivalry.  Its Art Gallery of Ontario, also known as AGO, a not-so-subtle irony pointed out by the city’s naysayers, has transformed itself with a number of renovations, the most recent of which was overseen by non other than Frank Gehry himself.  The famed architect lent his material-bending design skills, his first for his home town of Toronto, and created the spiral staircase in the Gallery’s Walker Court.

Located on the Grange Park District, the gallery, or Musée des beaux-arts de l’Ontario, is one of the largest in North America with noteworthy collections that include African, Canadian, European and Renaissance art; drawings; the graphic arts and photography; prints; and sculptures.  It also has a cafe, library, lecture hall, requisite restaurant, and theatre hall.

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© 2013 commons.wikimedia.org

As impressive as that it, the Gallery makes a statement on the outside, before you even enter its exhibition spaces.  Its facade on Dundas Street, for example, won praise for restraint, subtlety, and gossamer-like presence.  The blue titanium exterior on the facade facing Grange Park, however, is bold with the inclusion of stairwell looking like its punched its way through the material.

World-renowned and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry…

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© 2013 commons.wikimedia.org

…admired for the sensuous curves of titanium which form the outer skin of the Guggenheim Museum’s Bilbao location along with the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, has consistently managed to surprise and impress over his long and storied career.

One of his most recent creations is New York City’s Beekman Tower, the tallest residential tower in the world.  From a distance, the building seems out-of-place and its surface appears as if something has gone horribly wrong.  It’s only as you get closer you realize Gehry has introduced his trademark curved metal as the tower’s exterior.  Upon closer inspection still do you fully realize and appreciate the enormous complexity of engineering involved–that of undulating water being poured from an unseen source above.  It’s a building so exquisite, in fact, the first reaction you have will be that of shivers down your spine.  To continue reading the Architecture page, click here.