3.03.2005

It's Gerhy alright

What have we come to expect from Frank Gehry - thought-provoking architecture? Or yet another building that requires "fixing" because of its design?

Pauline Saliga, executive director of the Society of Architectural Historians, said she doubted that the changes would drastically alter the hall's look, though she was surprised designers hadn't planned better to prevent an obvious problem such as glare in Los Angeles.

She pointed out that Gehry had to rework another landmark building, the library at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, after snow and ice slid off the curvy, stainless steel roof and crashed onto the sidewalk below.

"Even great architects make mistakes with materials and designs," she said. "I think you just have to admit it and you have to be pragmatic about it and alter that design if necessary. Architecture is a functional art form, so it really does have to function."
Read the rest of the LA Times story.

We found the same thing happening at the Chicago Millenium Park. The center lawn area is closed to use because snow falling off of the grid structure arching over it. And the ramps leading to other areas of the park were closed off because the material was too precious to plow. You can read the full article in next month's Landscape (based in the UK).

[Thanks kayx!]

3 comments:

rsmith said...

Shin-pei

You have a keen insight to Frank’s architecture, and you are right, he is extremely focused on shape and is not interested nor does he spend the time to analyze these aspects of his designs. I worked with Frank for twelve years and introduced his office to the use of the computer. I tried to get them to understand the power of the computer for analysis for these very purposes but as I said they were more interested only in its use for sculpting. The following is an excerpt from a book I am writing which was an incident regarding the glare on the building:

It was decided that a mockup should be built to evaluate various metals to clad the building with. Because of the notoriety and success of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, titanium was first considered. Stainless steel was later settled upon but there were a number of finishes to evaluate that could give texture to the surface. It was decided the exterior of the hall would have a dulled brushed finish. The founder’s room was to be of a highly polished reflective finish. I went to see the mockup one day with the architects. The mockup was built from a portion of the building’s walls taken directly from the computer model and then detailed with the structural ribs and connections to prove the attachment concept. Walking around the large full-scale replica I noticed at certain places where you stood, the sun’s rays cast a concentrated reflection of intense light and heat. I pointed this out to the architects saying, “Do you realize that at certain times of the day the light and heat will be really intense and reflect right into the apartments across the street. We can perform some computer analysis in the model to adjust those conditions.” They dismissed my concern and responded with, “They can close the blinds during those few minutes. At most times of the day the tenants will have a beautiful building to look down upon.”

rsmith said...

Shin-pei

You have a keen insight to Frank’s architecture, and you are right, he is extremely focused on shape and is not interested nor does he spend the time to analyze these aspects of his designs. I worked with Frank for twelve years and introduced his office to the use of the computer. I tried to get them to understand the power of the computer for analysis for these very purposes but as I said they were more interested only in its use for sculpting. The following is an excerpt from a book I am writing which was an incident regarding the glare on the building:

It was decided that a mockup should be built to evaluate various metals to clad the building with. Because of the notoriety and success of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, titanium was first considered. Stainless steel was later settled upon but there were a number of finishes to evaluate that could give texture to the surface. It was decided the exterior of the hall would have a dulled brushed finish. The founder’s room was to be of a highly polished reflective finish. I went to see the mockup one day with the architects. The mockup was built from a portion of the building’s walls taken directly from the computer model and then detailed with the structural ribs and connections to prove the attachment concept. Walking around the large full-scale replica I noticed at certain places where you stood, the sun’s rays cast a concentrated reflection of intense light and heat. I pointed this out to the architects saying, “Do you realize that at certain times of the day the light and heat will be really intense and reflect right into the apartments across the street. We can perform some computer analysis in the model to adjust those conditions.” They dismissed my concern and responded with, “They can close the blinds during those few minutes. At most times of the day the tenants will have a beautiful building to look down upon.”

Shin-pei said...

wow. thanks for sharing.