Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jhuff's architecture thoughts, further.

First of all, as neither of us study architecture, the actual legitimacy of the JJ Collective's comments on it must be taken with a grain of salt. I will say, however, that if there were degrees given for walking around cool cities looking at buildings and appreciating them, Jhuff and I would be serious candidates.

That being said, I have to respond to Jhuff's contention with Gehry's work: I do not think that any of his work has become stale or any less revolutionary than it was originally. I feel like Gehry has a disctinctive style and is able to create ever-new designs within a general archetype and just because his work is distinctive, just because when anyone sees a Gehry building they say, 'Shiza, that's a Gehry building!', does not mean his work is unoriginal.

I present a real life example: I was walking around Berlin, specifically around PariserPlatz, looking for this Gehry building I had heard about. I spent at least 30 minutes in 3 square blocks (where I had heard the building was located) trying to find it. I COULDN'T! I kept saying to the people I was dragging along, 'Just wait, you'll see, it's impossible to miss, you can't miss a Frank Gehry.' When one inevitably asked, 'How do you know?' I said, 'Please. You just know.'

Well, apparently, you don't. Er, I don't. Turns out Gehry's building in PariserPlatz had to comply with the general look\feel of the area, which with the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, and Unten Der Linden right there is quite historically significant.

So, Jhuff--you see, Gehry suddenly had to force his personal style (those curvy metal THINGS we all know) into a constricted space. This no doubt took an huge amount of ingenuity and a certain amound of departure from his comfort zone.

Here is what the building looks like on the outside.

AND HERE (!!!!!) is what it looks like on the inside.

The huge whale looking thing is actually a conference room--so it also responds to Jhuff's comments regarding the actual function of style, and the whole main center of the building needs hardly any electrical light during the day because of the reflections Gehry set up that utilizes light from above.

[I have to say that when I heard some people actually have apartments in this building I almost peed my pants.]

When I think about the Mies van der Rohe federal center in Chicago (I can't find a good pic), I realize how much more beneficial Gehry-type buildings are to society. Miesian buildings are meant to be huge black boxes--containing nothing but FUNCTION--and it is oppressive and depressing. That the buildings espouse efficiency, organization, etc. may be a strong statement...but that Gehry-type buildings inspire all those who pass is far more impactful.

I understand that there are many difficulties in Gehry-type buildings--everything from extra costs to engineering problems--but after seeing the Gehry Deutsche Bank for myself, after being instrinsically affected by its beauty, after being effectively inspired and filled with sublimity--I cannot deride any complication it may create...all is worth it.