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drinsema-sybenga

Downtown planning - LA style

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Thought the GR UP crowd would enjoy kicking around this topic. Frank Gehry has come up with a vision that he hopes can create something out of nothing - or in other words - a downtown in notoriously sprawling LA.

His exact words were that he hopes "to develop the beginning of a community that has the body language of a community and has the scale of a community".

The project will eventually include 400,000 square feet of retail space, a 275-room hotel and up to 2,600 residences, including affordable units.

How about some inspiration for downtown thinkers!

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/25/arts/25gran.html

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Thought the GR UP crowd would enjoy kicking around this topic. Frank Gehry has come up with a vision that he hopes can create something out of nothing - or in other words - a downtown in notoriously sprawling LA.

His exact words were that he hopes "to develop the beginning of a community that has the body language of a community and has the scale of a community".

The project will eventually include 400,000 square feet of retail space, a 275-room hotel and up to 2,600 residences, including affordable units.

How about some inspiration for downtown thinkers!

:blink: those are some crazy looking buildings

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Had the privilege of working with him in Chicago. He is awesome and absolutely crazy--doesn't give a crap about what other people think of him.

First time we met, I said, "Good morning!"

To which he replied, "What's so f*****g good about it!?"

I didn't know if he was joking by dropping F-bombs at 8AM or being some kind of crabby, diva architect. And for the first time in my life, I had no response.

Then he laughed and so did I (secretly crying on the inside).

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Had the privilege of working with him in Chicago. He is awesome and absolutely crazy--doesn't give a crap about what other people think of him.

First time we met, I said, "Good morning!"

To which he replied, "What's so f*****g good about it!?"

I didn't know if he was joking by dropping F-bombs at 8AM or being some kind of crabby, diva architect. And for the first time in my life, I had no response.

Then he laughed and so did I (secretly crying on the inside).

You should have said "Well, YOU get to meet the Great Greedo this morning! Hello?!". :lol: "Now shut your pie hole you pompous ass and let's get to work!" :rofl:

I try to play well with others, but sometimes I can't help myself.

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Meh, perhaps he's a good architect, but from what I've seen a lot of his buildings are not good urban structures. Perhaps this will be better as it a an urban center is one of the design goals of this project. I guess I also don't always care for his "weird for the sake of weird" style.

-nb

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Meh, perhaps he's a good architect, but from what I've seen a lot of his buildings are not good urban structures. Perhaps this will be better as it a an urban center is one of the design goals of this project. I guess I also don't always care for his "weird for the sake of weird" style.

-nb

I agree completely! I personally do not like much of his work. He claims to use aspects and lines that he finds naturally in nature... maybe in the middle of a forest after a wind storm. Half the time you have no idea as to what it is. One of the differences between him and Wright was the ability to make buildings still look like buildings!

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That's why I like him. Why does a building have to look like a building? Why can't it look like an exploding soda can? It's architecture as art.

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When I was in residential architecture class I was taught to create functions that work all the while saying to myself, "will this look good?" Sometimes, architecture has to work, but in the same appeal to thoes who will use it.

I do like the color gradients, very nice.

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That's why I like him. Why does a building have to look like a building? Why can't it look like an exploding soda can? It's architecture as art.

Yes, but will his designs stand the test of time? I like the concept look now, but can I say the same 20 years from now when tastes have changed? What if soda cans become like vinyl LP records in 20 years and don't exist? The whole exploding soda can design completely loses it context then.

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I've walked on his serpentine pedestrian bridge at Millenium Park in Chicago, and the whole time I thought, "Why can't I just get from point A to point B?". It's not like the twists and turns helped me experience anything new. It just made me dizzy and frustrated. :wacko:

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And your attention is not drawn to the skyline like this article states. You're too busy making sure you're not banging into the walls.

http://www.architecture.uwaterloo.ca/facul...s/terri/bp.html

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I must say I'm glad this is going in Los Angeles and not Grand Rapids. I can understand a little bit the argument for architectural integrity but as already stated here I believe its the job of the architect needs to ultimately design a building to be both creative and innovative but at the same time flow well with its surroundings and still be functional. Not every building is going to become a city icon or landmark.

While I've never actually walked in Millenium Park I've walked by it and seen it from the top of the Sears Tower and I've got to say most of it looks like a heap of scrap metal. I'm sure all of the artist on here would disagree but from a 'regular joe' point of view it just doesn't seem to look good not to mention it clashes entirely with the city around it.

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I don't care if it's an exploding soda can, it has to fit in with the urban fabric.

I agree. With a few exceptions, Gehry's buildings drive me crazy.

Visual art, an artist's self-expression, is fun to look at and it has a good home: an art gallery. A building, however, in which other people have to live, work, and use, shouldn't be the blank canvas for an architect to express his self-creativity. Good art, I hope, isn't confused with good architecture.

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I agree. With a few exceptions, Gehry's buildings drive me crazy.

Visual art, an artist's self-expression, is fun to look at and it has a good home: an art gallery. A building, however, in which other people have to live, work, and use, shouldn't be the blank canvas for an architect to express his self-creativity. Good art, I hope, isn't confused with good architecture.

Visual art hasn't always been about the artist's view of him/herself. This is a post-modern

phenomenon. I agree that the building shouldn't be just about the artist/architect.

Whatever happened to serving the common good? Or designing a building to suit its environment? Frank Gehry is very interesting but I wouldn't want to live with him,

so to speak.

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Gehry's work is designed to stand apart from the environment. In the case of the Pritzker Pavilion above, the flare of the bandshell amplifies the sound from the stage. And if you're walking east up Washington Ave., the pavilion set against the neo-classical architecture of the Cultural Center is beautiful--a Bilbao moment to say the least.

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The BP Bridge is more functional than you think. Yes it absurdly winds North before actually crossing the road, but it acts as an acoustic barrier between the audienc and the traffic noise on Columbus Drive.

My point is form and function can coexist. I'm not a fan of all of his work. I think some cities just hire him to say they have a "Gehry". But the pavilion and the bridge in Chicago is two of his best efforts.

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Gehry's work is designed to stand apart from the environment. In the case of the Pritzker Pavilion above, the flare of the bandshell amplifies the sound from the stage. And if you're walking east up Washington Ave., the pavilion set against the neo-classical architecture of the Cultural Center is beautiful--a Bilbao moment to say the least.

The BP Bridge is more functional than you think. Yes it absurdly winds North before actually crossing the road, but it acts as an acoustic barrier between the audienc and the traffic noise on Columbus Drive.

My point is form and function can coexist. I'm not a fan of all of his work. I think some cities just hire him to say they have a "Gehry". But the pavilion and the bridge in Chicago is two of his best efforts.

Sculptural architecture (In Gehry's case - star-itecture) works much better in a park or greenfield setting where the site acts as the pedestal. You have to be able to walk around it to appreciate it. The building is only about the building. It may be great art, but it is usually not good urbanism. Such buildings do not belong in the urban core unless they are in great parks or occupy their own block.

Urban buildings primarily create the edges that enclose the public spaces (streets, courts, etc.). As such, they are "background" buildings. The historical exceptions where building are more attention-getting are governmental buildings (courthouses, libraries, etc.), churches, schools, etc. They typically occupy prominate sites at the end of a vista, on the town square, and so on.

Urban design must always consider the building's contribution to the public space as the primary objective. Gehry is an artist, but he has never understood that concept.

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For the record, I really like the thing he did in Chicago, despite not caring for his work in general.

-nb

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I like the guy's work. I don't think that type of architecture would work in GR any more that palm trees would work in NYC.

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I hate most of his stuff. That first rendering completely appalling. :sick: I hope he never wants to build something here

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Wouldn't it be great if he were commissioned to design a new performance space for the Symphony at Market/Fulton, right on the river?

How awesome would that be?

I'll answer that... Infinitely. It would be infinitely awesome.

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For the record, I really like the thing he did in Chicago, despite not caring for his work in general.

-nb

I do too. It is sited in an area where it can be appreciated as sculpture.

Last weerkend my wife and I went to see the play Spamalot (I laughed until tears were rolling down my face). We stayed in the theater district on Randolph. Washington is one block south of Randolph. When you look east on Washington, Gehry's bandshell is at the end of the view.

BTW, the whole Millinium Park in Chicago is spectacular and well worth a visit.

Spamalot runs until sometime in June I think. It too is well worth a visit. If you liked Python's Holy Grail movie you will love the play.

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The band shell/pavilion is awesome! (better than the bridge IMHO). It's amazing how, with the webbing over top of you in the amphitheater area, that it feels like you're inside. Makes if feel more "intimate".

I took these shots when I was there a few months ago:

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These are actually reflections in a giant sculpture called "Cloud Gate" (not by Gehry):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Park

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I think it has been named the "most photographed" object in Chicago now.

Cloud Gate Google Image Search Results

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