View Full Version : My Gehryesque Designs

January 28th, 2005, 01:01 AM
AT LAST! A rendering!


Not by Gehry, though.

I got tired of waiting, so I went ahead and created my own imagined version.

James Kovata
January 28th, 2005, 02:02 AM
Your rendering looks like an art deco/Chrysler Buildingesque version of Jin Mao in Shanghai....with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon integrated into it.

TLOZ Link5
January 29th, 2005, 04:42 PM
Bah...can't see it :(

February 1st, 2005, 03:21 AM
Pbase is back up. More photoshop play. A different rendering of my impersonation of Gehry’s Beekman Street “flower” building.


And what could be more New York than…….SINATRA AND A DAME. Anthropomorphic architecture, taboo no more!


I like Gehry, but what I’m suggesting is there are ways to use the crazy wavy forms and put them in an accessible and even friendly context. There would be no complaints about “exploding collapsing buildings “ because the form is somewhat recognizable, even downright cute! Art need not be baffling to be serious.

February 1st, 2005, 11:51 AM
Personally, I find this "fantasy" designing inconsistent with this forum. Are we now a rumor mill and fantasy palace, or do we talk about what is ACTUALLY going on. These things aren't interesting or entertaining.

February 1st, 2005, 02:06 PM
Personally, I find this "fantasy" designing inconsistent with this forum. Are we now a rumor mill and fantasy palace, or do we talk about what is ACTUALLY going on. These things aren't interesting or entertaining.

I realize that serious architects were forbidden to use imagination for decades, but since I'm not an architect, I see no reason I can't use my mine!

Elsewhere in this forum, there were speculative renderings of the Freedom Tower. I was expressing an on-topic opinion about Gehry and modern architecture with words AND pictures. Its been THREE years since this project was announced. Part of the intrigue is the "fact" that people are imagining what it will look like.

Personally, I was curious to see people's renderings of the WTC and memorial, even if they were godawful. It was the whiney self-righteousness that was interminable.

If Koolhaus can win the pritzker prize for WRITING about architecture without even building, then I can express opinions by designing buildings. Seems reasonable to me.

(BTW, sorry about, or be thankful for-depending upon your view-the buggy links. Host pbase is moving its server)

February 1st, 2005, 03:28 PM
The fact that you consider your work illustrations of serious suggestions and commentary is laughably pretentious. Have your fun in Anything Goes.

If Koolhaus can win the pritzker prize for WRITING about architecture without even building, then I can express opinions by designing buildings. Seems reasonable to me.
Koolhaas had built before receiving the prize, and you're not designing buildings but creating images on your computer.

February 1st, 2005, 07:45 PM
I realize the wacky wacky world of art and architecture after Le Corbusier is so baffling that it is hard to tell when I'm serious, when I'm ironic, etc. I exaggerate, but I don't exaggerate THAT much about modern architecture.

Koolhaas had built a FEW buildings, but even the pritzker jury on their own website states:

"The Pritzker jury considers Koolhaas’ writings so important that the prize citation says he is AS well known for his books, plans and academic explorations as he is for his buildings.* "

This is nothing new in academia. Frank Lloyd Wright said that after Le Corbusier built a building, he would go and write four books about it. Theorists redefined the role of the architect, much like the roles of director and writer were redefined in film. The Architect became the visionary and theorist, who theorized about a whole host of gobbledygook subjects like semiotics. The "builder" was the shlump who made sure the rivets would fit together and that the building wouldn't fall down or leak.

What Frank Gehry does is at least a novel architectural spin on the Bauhaus "Vorkurs". This was an exercise where a newspaper or pieces of tin foil or plastic were placed in front of the student with instructions to create a work of art. High praise was given to the student who did the most minimal or bafflingly abstract creation. Something about expressing "the soul of the paper or material" or some such thing.

So gehry twists, and then presents the objects to his computer team (and "builders") and asks "Is this possible?" Gehry designs the space, but the nuts and bolts and plumbing and ducts are left to others.

But I admire Gehry for returning decoration to architecture, even if that decoration is sails and ocean waves and the occasional dented tin can. I think there are other possibilities in this vernacular, and demonstrated it visually. Is that way way out?

Did you think I presented the, er, images of fictional buildings as a joke? I did not. I like them. You sound like you've never seen a Gehry building before.

I qualified my remarks by saying "I'm no architect". I'm not looking for a job. Still, I'm sure the photoshop artist who did the twin freedom tower design (and mentioned in the city review!) got a certain measure of satisfaction displaying his work about that topic. Could someone explain the difference? Did I miss something in the faq?

I don't mind if someone just said, your (images of) buildings look like crap! What's funny is all of the hostility that I posted them in the first place.

February 18th, 2005, 04:42 AM
thirduncle, I like the rendering of your impersonation of Frank Gehry's Beekman Street Tower design. I wonder what your design would look like in the skyline.

February 19th, 2005, 01:30 AM
Why thank you, archit k. The tower is a collage of samples from "Der Neue Zollhof". My designs do differ from Gehry in these respects:

1. Gehry usually tries to not represent any literal, recognizable form.
2. He tries to avoid symmetry.

What I like about my "flowertower" (even though I do say so myself) is that from a certain distance it looks like a traditional beaux arts or deco tower, yet from another view it looks like a wild avant-garde cauliflower stalk. The point is it's possible to shock AND delight at the same time.

I'm looking for a level pic of downtown Manhattan, shot from around Chambers and Broadway (or the Municipal building) looking south to paste into.

February 20th, 2005, 05:38 PM
A quick and dirty speculative rendering of Beekman Street:


A crazier "Flower Crown" close-up:



Gehry meets de Chirico?

February 20th, 2005, 11:15 PM
What's funny is all of the hostility that I posted them in the first place.

Yeah, that seemed pretty strange to me too. Must be hormones.

Anyway, I like your designs, thirduncle; they're creative, imaginative and amusing, and every bit as buildable as whatever the great man himself comes up with. And that's right: your method is not that different from his.

Illegitimi non carborundum.

February 20th, 2005, 11:26 PM
If I squint really really hard I can almost see it.

February 22nd, 2005, 10:55 PM
Originally my posts were removed from the "Gehry/Ratner Beekman Street" thread. In all fairness, I can understand the removal if the thread became ABOUT my art rather than the Gehry tower. On the other hand, it seemed slightly more interesting to me than endless speculation about how tall the tower would be to the micro-centemeter.

Moving on, here are skyscrapers influenced by Foster, with some "taboo" features.


"Monument Quad" is topped with a variety of ancient architectural references. The architects of the AIG/Cities Service building were influenced by Mayan temples, but the killjoy internationalists would have none of that. "Victorian sentimentalization of ancient ruins" they griped.

"Bessie" (a feminine "Erotic Gherkin." ) You can imagine how many taboos this violates!

"Tree with attitude"
Although I adore Foster, His WTC proposal had an uncomfortable collapsing or wobbly feel that was ultimately inappropriate for the site. This is a reworking of some of those geometrical forms into a skyscraper-tree with a sturdy, bad-ass, arms-akimbo attitude.

February 26th, 2005, 05:46 PM

I like Gehry, but what I’m suggesting is there are ways to use the crazy wavy forms and put them in an accessible and even friendly context. There would be no complaints about “exploding collapsing buildings “ because the form is somewhat recognizable, even downright cute! Art need not be baffling to be serious.
This design looks rather interesting. I wonder if constructiing a building to look like this would be possible, though. More than likely, there would be a few engineering hurdles that would have to be worked out.

February 27th, 2005, 07:49 PM
Good question, moncapitan!

I'm not an engineer, but there are existing Gehry buildings (Der Neue Zollhof) and proposed buildings (United Architects' WTC) that have equally irregular angles that are designed with computer aided software.

Additionally, there are organic techniques inspired by nature. Frank Lloyd Wright's "taproot" method comes to mind. I would speculate that anthropomorphic buildings could be built on the model of a human spine and rib cage. Gehry's Experience Music Project (EMP) was noted on the American Society of Civil Engineer's web site:

"One of the EMP's unique structural features is the invention of a new "organic" structure based on the concept of the human rib cage. Up to that point, no existing structural system could meet the curvature demands of the architecture. To make the curvature of the structures viable, structural engineers incorporated existing technologies including bridge technology and girder fabrication methods."

I can't say for certain if this specific technique could be adapted to skyscrapers, but with Calatrava's "Turning Torso" the idea is definitely in the air.

Nature certainly builds in a variety of twisting forms, and in a way, computer aided engineering is unlocking some of her construction secrets.

February 27th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Beijing's u/c CCTV Headquarters is an engineering feat as well. And that office building in Germany with crazy cantilever lengths. Both seem to be fine.

April 7th, 2005, 04:45 PM

April 7th, 2005, 05:02 PM
Loved Gehry on the Simpsons this week. He wasn't very interesting, but the "construction" scene was worth admission. Couldn't find a screencap, but this describes it:

http://m3.doubleclick.net/viewad/817-grey.gif (http://ad.doubleclick.net/click;h=v3|3253|0|0|%2a|b;44306;0-0;0;3553323;4307-300|250;0|0|0;;~sscs=%3f)

http://www.sfgate.com/templates/sfgatelogo_xsm.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/) www.sfgate.com (http://www.sfgate.com/) Culture of celebrity embraces pop-star architects (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/04/07/DDGADC3HJF1.DTL)
- John King (jking@sfchronicle.com)
Thursday, April 7, 2005

http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2005/04/07_t/dd_disneyhallla_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2005/04/07/DDGADC3HJF1.DTL&o=0&type=printable)http://www.sfgate.com/c/pictures/2005/04/07_t/dd_gehry07_t.gif (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2005/04/07/DDGADC3HJF1.DTL&o=1&type=printable)

Big news: Architects have finally made inroads where it counts -- American pop culture.

I know. I saw one on "The Simpsons."

And not just any Frank Lloyd Wright wannabe, no sir. This was Frank Gehry in all his animated glory, designing a right-angles-be-damned concert hall for Springfield, hometown of Bart et al.

Which shows two things. The notion of architects as celebrities has taken hold in American society; at the same time, the impact of the trend beyond name recognition goes only so far -- and it is ripe for ridicule along the way.

For those of you who were too busy counting the minutes until "Desperate Housewives" to catch "The Simpsons" on Sunday, here's what you missed:

Marge, Homer, Bart and Lisa journey to Shelbyville and hear people making fun of Springfield, the Simpsons' lifelong home.

Marge tells fellow members of the Springfield Cultural Advisory Board that a surefire way to win respect is to hire Gehry to design a concert hall along the lines of his Disney Hall in Los Angeles.

"So good it's Gehry," proclaims a magazine cover she happens to have handy.

Cut to Santa Monica. Gehry strolls to his mailbox, a Gehryesque tumble of odd angles, and pulls out Marge's letter making Springfield's case. Gehry rolls his eyes, wads up the letter and tosses it on the ground, only to stare transfixed at the crumpled paper that looks uncannily like ... yes ... a Frank Gehry building!

From here, the plot wanders off toward its denouement at a prison riot (more on that later), but not before one bit that made me laugh out loud. After workers erect a steel structure that looks like a straightforward cluster of upright boxes, cranes with wrecking balls pummel it until the structure buckles in a dozen directions -- with Gehry on hand to give a smiling thumbs-up at seeing his design brought to life.

So that's how those gravity-defying icons get built.

Seeing as how "The Simpsons" has also featured real-voice cameos by the likes of Mickey Rooney and Britney Spears, Gehry's turn at the microphone doesn't mean that architects en masse will now be viewed by the public with solemn respect. But it's still a gauge of how the profession has evolved in the past decade or so, for better or worse.

More and more, especially with cultural facilities, star wattage counts. Institutions look to familiar names and flamboyant designs because the extra buzz helps attract attention -- and, theoretically, the donors who pay for the construction, followed by customers looking for what is new and hot and wow.

These buildings aren't merely part of the landscape, or structures crafted with an eye to posterity. They're gambles: bets by clients that a payoff is more likely if the architect is part of the appeal.

Nothing demonstrates this better than Gehry's popularity; his cascading exuberance has become a brand every bit as recognizable as a Volkswagen bug. If a building is a Gehry, you know it at a glance.

That's fine in his case, because his most visible creations have delivered the goods.

The 1997 opening of his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, not only turned a fading industrial city into a mecca for the traveling intelligentsia, it put "starchitecture" on the map. All that undulating titanium wasn't just baffling, it was lyrical. And 2003's Disney Hall delivered the same oomph closer to home, disarming skeptics who were poised to take the celebrity big shot down a peg.

The danger comes when having a BIG NAME is more important than whether the BIG NAME is appropriate for the project at hand. These days, the Gehry stardust is being sprinkled far and wide; among the projects on the drawing board, are a winery in Canada, a museum in Hong Kong, a sports arena in Kansas City, Mo., and condominium towers in Brighton, England.

And what's the payoff beyond the property lines? Hard to say.

San Francisco's not in line for a Gehry -- though there's talk of a Gehry winery in Napa -- but we've got the Daniel Libeskind-designed Contemporary Jewish Museum set to start construction next spring near Yerba Buena Gardens, with a blue cube lurching against a century-old wall of red brick. And the sinuous, vaguely biomorphic de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park opening this fall that's the copper-covered vision of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, winners, like Gehry, of the vaunted Pritzker Architecture Prize.

These brash designs are controversial, but whether or not they loosen the city's distrust of contemporary architecture is an open question. The bold moves by big names might captivate the public at large, or make people even more resistant to any design that doesn't look as if it were plucked from a time capsule.

Back to "The Simpsons."

Remember the prison riot I mentioned? It took place inside Gehry's Springfield concert hall -- after it was converted into a prison because the good folks of Springfield realized on the hall's opening night that they didn't like classical music.

Let that be a lesson to any city lured by the glamour of celebrity architecture. When you're building for the ages, star wattage goes only so far.

Place appears on Thursdays. E-mail John King, a big fan of Disney Hall, at jking@sfchronicle.com (jking@sfchronicle.com). ©2005 San Francisco Chronicle (http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/info/copyright/)

April 7th, 2005, 05:45 PM
falling water Gehry style. (http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Midwest/03/01/offbeat.school.building.ap/)

May 16th, 2005, 09:00 AM
The pic that you call "Sinatra and a dame" reminds me strongly of a building we have here in Prague. It is called "the dancing house" and is located on the small town river side of Prague.

The architect is Czech.

"The first indication that we are killing our dreams is lack of time."

May 16th, 2005, 11:10 AM

Is it this Gehry building? I believe the local Czechs, not Gehry, dubbed it "Fred and Ginger". The anthropomorphic is hinted at, but it's open to interpretation. ("Jesus Eats at Sonic" would be another interpretation!).

I noticed that one of the United Architects' WTC buildings looks like an amazon woman with one breast and a skirt. They probably took an actual model and put her through the abstracto filter.

So heck, I thought, why not "Learn From Las Vegas" and push it further.


May 16th, 2005, 05:21 PM

yeah!!! That´s it: "Fred and Ginger" - I really thought it was a Czech architect who made the plans of it.
Great that you are that well informed about it!

"The great blessing of life is to have dreams to realize."
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