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Monday, April 25, 2011

Joe Queenan on the Frank Gehry Glut | Moving Targets - WSJ.com | Share on LinkedIn

This is a pretty amusing article that every non-starchitect will appreciate...

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052748703789104576272982600173192-lMyQjAxMTAxMDIwMzEyNDMyWj.html#printMode

An Iowa-based philanthropist and architecture aficionado has offered a $300 million reward to any city anywhere in the world that dares to hire someone other than Frank Gehry to design its gleaming new art museum.

"Don't get me wrong, I like iconoclastic, swoopy structures that look like bashed-in sardine cans as much as the next guy," says the philanthropist, who wishes to remain nameless for fear of enraging close friends in the art world. "I like Czech dance halls that look like a 747 plowed right into the façade as much as anybody. I bow to no man in my admiration for an architect who can design an art museum that looks like a intergalactic recycling center. I just thought it would be nice to give the second-most-famous architect in the world a shot at a payday. Whoever he is. I know I've got his name here somewhere."

The philanthropist's gambit underscores how amazingly popular Mr. Gehry's playful, irreverent architecture has become in recent years, and how hard it is to find anyone helming a major municipal building project who would dare to hire someone else to execute a commission. The latest is a 76-story structure in lower Manhattan, the largest swoopy apartment building in the world.

"There's a swoopy, somewhat incongruous Frank Gehry building in Millennium Park in Chicago," says a famous architecture critic who wishes to remain nameless for fear of being perceived as a revolting, disgusting philistine who ought to be hanged, drawn, quartered and then shot, but only after being blinded and flayed alive. "There's a swoopy Frank Gehry building in L.A. There are swoopy Frank Gehry buildings in New York, Seattle, Cleveland, Toronto, Cambridge, Mass., and Princeton, N.J. That's not to mention the swoopy Frank Gehry buildings in Basel, Switzerland, Miami Beach, Las Vegas and Bilbao, Spain. Everywhere you go on the planet, whether it's an art museum, a concert hall, a corporate headquarters or a hospital, there's a swoopy Gehry building. I'm not saying that the world doesn't need any more swoopy Gehry buildings that look like dented Miller Lite cans. I'm just saying that maybe the world doesn't need quite so many."

>read the rest - link

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