August 7, 2009

Gehry on throwing architecture under the bus

Frank Gehry is quoted in an NPR story about the 50th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The story is worth reading on its own as it describes the impact the Wright's design had on the museum world. Most interesting, though, are Frank Gehry's comments at the end:
. . . the architect says, it's getting harder to build works with "spirit, passion and feeling."

"I think that throwing architecture under the bus is being touted by the people who can't do the other," Gehry says. "And this is a great excuse to trash those who can, and say we're through with those guys, and now we're going back to straight simple, minimalist, idiocy again. Cold simple sterility. It's got to be green, though! As long as it's green, you're OK."
I agree that it would be sad to see a return to "straight simple, minimalist, idiocy." But I also think it would be wonderful to achieve more balance, to move past the truly idiotic notion that every new museum must be a unique architectural expression. It would be delightful if every museum could be designed by the likes of Gehry, but even among the architectural luminaries, few can compare with his mastery of both form and function. A few more simple green boxes would meet the needs of many museums and their users at considerably less cost than the bloated attempts at artistic expression that have hobbled some museums.

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