Saturday, May 7, 2011
The building I chose for the discussion of Frank Gehry is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. I originally chose this because I liked the idea of a titanium, glass, and limestone building, but after seeing it I chose it because it also looks very good. Gehry was quoted as saying “the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light” when questioned about the disorganization in the building’s curvature. The building has been hailed a monument of the Deconstructivism craze of architecture, which revolved around the idea of irregular designs exemplifying a broken, fragmented nature. This could have been his inspiration, but is unlikely as he was a man who cared not for grand, mass explored design movements. Another appealing aspect of the museum is that from the riverfront, the building looks like a large artistic piece, but from street level it looks unobtrusive and does not clash with the surrounding structures.
The building I chose for the discussion of Frank Lloyd Wright was the Robie House. I chose this one specifically because I love the layered look that the structure has, and it looks like a building I’d really enjoy living in. This building is a U.S. Historic Landmark in Chicago. This building is a prime example of the style called ‘Prairie Style,’ which is claimed to be the first American design movement. It is claimed as such because the design is based strongly off of the land and scenery around the location of the build site, which could also have been a major playing piece in Frank Lloyd Wright’s inspiration to build the house in such a way. Wright wrote in regard to the house, “it is quite impossible to consider the building one thing and its furnishings another. They are all mere structural details of its character and completeness.” Signifying his desire for complete unison of all pieces involved in building the house.
The building I chose was the currently in-design Singapore Scotts Tower by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, and is the first structure that the OMA will make in Singapore. The tower is a 36-story, 153 meters tall, residential complex. The design was made by Ole Schreenen who partnered with OMA on this project, as the company does designing through Partnerships rather than to use an internal team of designers. The tower will have 68 apartment units, each with a panoramic view. There are four separate apartment towers, each suspended from the central core tower, and each tower’s skyline is designed to be the most attractive view for each respective apartment tower. Because all of the apartment towers are elevated to the central core, there is a large area beneath for relaxation activities and gatherings, due to the minimal space being taken up. The space beneath is deemed a tropical landscape due to the trees and scenery placed around the lower area.
I chose Las Vegas’ The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health by Frank Gehry. I picked this building because the design is so different, and it’s amazing how he can get a building that typically is made up of straight lines to look so curvilinear. The way the shadows and sunlight play off of the titanium made building makes it stand out even more and gives the building a very distinct look. The Ruvo Center is located about a mile north of the casinos lining the Las Vegas Strip. The building officially opened on May 22, 2010. The Ruvo Center’s mission is dedicated to research on and the treatment of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other neurological diseases. Gehry embraced this project after creating a strong rapport with Larry Ruvo, a liquor distributor who wanted to open a neurological research facility after watching his father struggle with Alzheimer’s. I think Gehry used the Vegas lifestyle and the purpose of the Ruvo Center as his inspiration for his design. The structure stands out and is bold and flashy, like the Las Vegas lifestyle. The structure is also curvilinear and complex looking, much like the human brain, and the many windows could signify looking into the human mind.
I chose Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fawcett House, located on an 80 acre farmland in Los Banos, California. The building was started in 1955 and completed in 1961, two years after he died. The Fawcett House is a historic ranch style home designed in the shape of a shallow “U” with the side wings of the house branching out at 120-degree angles. I chose this building because I like the openness of the building. The large windows allow a lot of sunlight into the building and you can get the feeling of being outside while remaining inside. I also like the roof structure at the one corner of the house; it’s pointed and stands out from the building. I think the outdoor s was Frank Lloyd Wright’s inspiration. I think he wanted to be able to see outside and enjoy nature and bring some of that inside the building. The mahogany wood windows, doors, trims, walls, and interior cabinetry used for this building also plays into that nature based feel. The location and building coincide nicely together and creates this scene of serenity and beauty.
I guess for being such an old timer, his architecture really looked like something from the future. He was clearly ahead of his time. With that being said, I really enjoy his Fallingwater country house. Mainly because it is what I picture being my ultimate dream house. It looks like a scene straight out of a natural landscape. A futuristic type building perfectly nestled on a natural hillside with water flowing beautifully. There is no doubt in my mind that he was totally inspired by nature when he designed this house. Perhaps he was taking a stroll through the woods and decided it was time to construct something that fit in with nature.
The Dancing House by Frank Gehry spoke to me aesthetically, because it looks like a building out of one of those half cartoon, half real people movies, like ‘Who Framed Rodger Rabbit.’ And I always find those movies to be aesthetically pleasing. At first glance, to me, it looked like twisted, unfinished demolition. But upon closer inspection, you can see how it appears to be a ballroom dancer. Or even an exotic dancer wrapped around a pole. Okay, maybe just a ballroom dancer. His inspiration perhaps came from a musical or ballet he had just finished watching.