Gehry, Frank

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Wagner House   2238

Winton Guest House   2247

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao   2271

other extremes in architecture
...St.Peter’s Basilica in Rome and its extreme size, the extreme heights of todays skyscrapers, the extremes of Piranesi’s Campo Marzio, and the latest architecture of Frank Gehry.
...the metabolic nature of capitalism.
Piranesi’s metabolic extremism in the Prisons, the simultaneous creation and destruction of space. The extremes in the Campo Marzio--life and death, the small intercourse building versus the great halls of the Bustum Hadriani.
The kidneys perform the last metabolic process with regard to the blood, and they are an organ of excretion--a purge and a finality. The kidneys may be extreme due to their being the sole dual metabolic organ.
Why is Frank Gehry extreme? Does the extreme-ness come from his being a first? A
The extremities of the developing fetus may play a role in all this, and, if that is the case, then examples of extreme architecture that relate to the fetal extremities represent the foundation of a "new order" of architecture come the "second birth".

1998.12.01 11:02
Re: def: AutoCAD Architecture
many replies:
1. Gehry and Eisenman are more and more capitalizing on the new dexterity that CAD newly continues to offers designers. They too are increasingly being inspired by particular high-end cad softwares. The architects and the software TOGETHER are manifesting a new architectural aesthetic -- THE SOFTWARE IS NOT DOING IT ALONE.

Was Wagner 001   229b
Was Wagner 002   229c
Was Wagner 003   229d

House for Otto 4   2310

Terence Riley, MoMA
Complex Geometries: Plotting a Course presented 30 April [1999] at the "Digital Translations" symposium University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts
"I think architects are feeling the possibility of being slightly old fashioned. And it is a real question now, is architecture a still art, or is it one of the old fashioned fine arts? Or, through the media, can it be part of this new kind of performing art. And I think Bilbao is key to understanding this. So, to understand this idea of competition and where it might be leading us, we have to recognized the changed relationship between architecture and the media, and how that effects the perception of architecture by the public. We just had this symposium at MoMA, John Rajchman was moderator, and it was a very interesting session where a number of the leading architects in the world started talking about the "Bilbao effect". I had no idea of how much these architects were not thinking about the building but were thinking about what the building had done to change architectural culture. And Peter Eisenman, who is not very confessional most of the time, I found to be incredibly confessional, admitting that he doesn't know the difference between a theme park and good architecture these days. There is a very fine line between the two, and he finds that his ability to distinguish the two is changing, and he illustrated this by telling the story of being on a jury in Frankfurt where he and one other architect and, in his words, fourteen bureaucrats. There were five architectural projects, he felt that the one was the most radical, and somehow he had to convince the jury that this was "the" radical project. How would he defend it against these bureaucrats? They had a vote, and it was 16-0 in favor of the radical project. All the bureaucrats were saying, "this will be like Bilbao; it will be great; all the tourists will come." Eisenman had a real shock. What he was realizing, of course, was that, well, I'll come back to it later. Frank Gehry himself tells a very similar (in terms of import) story. He was very proud that when EuroDisney was being built, he resisted being given a theme building. He insisted that Bob Stern can do "New York, New York", but "I don't do a theme building." So he was very proud that Disney agree that he could do this space that was about (I don't remember what it was called), but it was a fun place to go, and it was a Frank Gehry building. He said that once he went to see it though, he had a kind of revelation, and he realized that Disney had won, because in that environment, they had gotten him to do a theme building. He did a Frank Gehry theme building. He had become a theme in [Euro]Disney. And it goes on and on, and some these stories . . ."
published at Quondam 1999.07.07

1999.09.12 11:34
...the flow/current/wave pattern...
For what it's worth, what John just said, "Which is why some argue that reason is too slow to be useful any more. Intuition and insight are speedier, but not as fast as illogic and madness." describes perfectly my position regarding design, and even more so art. Moreover, I began to think this way back in 1983, within the first month of my working as a computer-aided architect eight hour a day, five days a week. I never expected it, but I rather quickly saw that cad (and here I must mention that I was using Intergraph, which was phenomenally superb even by most of today's standards) would be incredibly fast if the user/designer too was incredibly fast, however, the speed of the designer coming close to the speed of the computer meant a shift into spontaneous mode, a design mode rarely taught, and indeed most often severely denounced. Of course, I was not in a position to change the design mode of the firm I worked for, where they, like Brian now, continued to apply the existing drafting and design standards to this gigantic and very much revolutionary tool of dexterity. It was then that I became an artist as well as an architect, because the realm of art provided a place for spontaneity which architecture [then] did not. [as an aside, I find it extremely ironic that those architects presently investigating and now building topological architectures with the aid of computers STILL do not use cad in full spontaneous design mode, whereas, Frank Gehry, who was already in spontaneous design mode well before his office began employing cad, is, for me at least, a better example of design matching cad's, computer aided design's, potential.

1999.12.23 15:53
I was doing Stella, frankly
It quickly dawned on me that Stella's art, especially his art from the '70s through the '90s, is having an enormous influence on the 'avant-garde' architecture of the 1990s. I also believe that this 'stellar' influence is largely unacknowledged, although any quick look at Stella's art and Gehry's, Eisenman's and even to some extent Koolhaas' recent architectures (to name the most obvious) will demonstrate many, many, many similarities.
As I continued to work through this idea regarding Stella as one of recent architecture's big influences, I realized that much of my architecture is likewise influenced by Stella's art and his artistic method. You'll have to take my word for it when I say that I was not emulating Stella consciously, but I can't in all honestly say that I was doing it completely sub-consciously either. The best I can do is to say that I just didn't realize the very large extent of Stella's influence upon my architecture until last night. Moreover, all the (Steve Lauf) architecture I've displayed within schizophrenia + architectures exhibits a very high degree of (subconscious?) Stella influence.

work with mesh surfaces
A good portion of the last week's work focused on "sketching" and manipulating two of (the thirty odd) DTM surfaces I've generated. I primarily generated many hline perspectives of paired surfaces (which represent a single multistory building) which increased in number of pairs and ultimately included scale/rotation modifications. The resultant drawings (and design play) turned out to be very stimulating, and indeed inspirational. There is now much further design investigation to perform, investigations and opportunities to greatly enhance my design repertoire.
From the start, I was consciously working to introduce the whole new Gehry/hybrid form language into my own design methodology and capabilities, and there is also the intention of finding out how far I could use and push the CAD capabilities at my disposal. What has happened is that I now have a very easy way to generate a vast collection of 3D mesh surface forms, that play perfectly within the infinite possibilities of CAD(esign) manipulation. Moreover, I believe I am documenting a methodology other than the presently popular Gehry/Hybrid Spaces way of using CAD/sophisticated form generating software. I am also developing an alternative to the "diagramatix" approach espoused by Eisenman (and UNStudio). All of this work fits perfectly within OTHERWISE EYES.
After generating the latest set of hlines, which were of two pairs of vertical surfaces combined, one orthogonal, one scale/rotated, the similarity of the resultant drawings to Gehry (design) drawings was near to identical, and also very provocative and eye opening. At night, after generating the last batch of drawings, I looked through the Gehry Complete Works, and was then further convinced that I was beginning to work with CAD on par with Gehry, and I will go so far as to say my approach is actually different than Gehry's because I've developed a catalogue of forms that can undergo infinite CAD manipulations. I would like to document all these new design methodology/theory/philosophy issues in OTHERWISE EYES.
Ultimately, I thought of a great project where I will reenact Bilbao Guggenheim in Philadelphia along the Schuykill River adjacent Eakins Oval (my first year final jury site). This project provides a myriad of opportunities:
1. a chance to design a building using the DTM collection
2. a documentation / demonstration of the design process
3. effective use of the Philadelphia Model
4. further development of the Parkway Interpolation project and perfect promotion thereof
5. another example of reenactment and/in architectural design.

model building as reenactment
It dawned on me yesterday that all of my computer model building of unexecuted architectural designs has been and will forever be virtual reenaxctments. This notion first came to me in thinking about the first image of Quondam (the NRWF interior with perspectives on the wall), and I can now reenact that particular reenactment drawing, with references to the Stirling reenactments of Schinkel, Corbu, etc. Then I thought of a whole Quondam tribute to Stirling-Wilford (and there is even the American College building-reenactment by Mitchel/Giurgola. And then I thought of how I can now do my own “reenactments” using the various models data at my own (design) discretion. These are all great ideas for OTHERWISE EYES, ie, reenacting Corbu, Stirling, Kahn, Gehry, Eisenman, Koolhaas, Arquitectonica, Hejduk, Venturi, etc.

Working Title Museum 001   2323

2000.10.07 12:18
non-Euclidean geometry
Non-Euclidean geometry, that term oft-used but not exactly understood by many of today's non-orthogonally 'inclined' architects and theorists, stems from the many age-old mathematical attempts to disprove one of Euclid's axioms:
"There was in particular one axiom, the axiom of parallels, which they disliked and attempted to eliminate. The axiom states that through a given point one and only one parallel can be drawn with respect to a given line; that is, there is one and only one line that does not ultimately intersect with a given line and yet lies in the same plane." (from H. Reichenbach, The Rise of Scientific Philosophy, 1951.)
With the discovery that light does not travel in a straight line, the notion that parallel lines can then (eventually) intersect seems to disprove Euclid's parallel axiom.
Another aspect of non-Euclidean geometry is that the sum of the angles inside a triangle can add up to more that 180 degrees, but such triangles only truly exist when the area of the triangle is extremely vast, say a triangle created by connecting three galaxies.
Basically, it is still Euclidean geometry that governs what architects on Earth are capable of building.
As an aside, I remember reading that Gehry's office, when first dealing with designs that collaged many non-orthogonal surfaces and forms, resorted to 'descriptive geometry'.

2003.01.09 10:31
I think there is an interesting correlation between the evolution of Frank Gehry's architecture and the evolution of Frank Stella's art. Neither does things just to be different. Rather, whatever 'style' is current is also a next step relative to what 'style' came before. Both artists have taken progressive steps with their works, steps that lead to ever freer use of form(s). Thus their 'expressionism' is not at all a free-for-all.
Judging from my own art/design experience/work, one has to know/do-it-by the rules in order to begin moving beyond the rules. And once you've gotten beyond the 'rules, then you work to understand the 'new rules' in order to begin understanding how to go beyond them. And on and on it goes.



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