We can only wish.
Yesterday a coworker sent me a link to this New York Observer article describing mayor Bloomber’s desire for 10 additional buildings by Frank Gehry by the end of his term.Â Bloomberg is out of office in two years.
By the mayor’s own estimation, that means Gehry has 70 days to crank out each project – which we know isn’t really how things work, but is still a crazy thing to think about. But even crazier, I’d argue, is the idea of 10 more buildings by America’s favorite “hey, I know that guy” starchitect, pseudo-commissioned by the mayor. It’s strange.
Now it would be easy to take the hater route and complain about how NYC would look like a pile ofÂ misshapen, curvy metal panels – but that’s getting tired. Besides, Gehry seems increasingly interesting when given some room to move now that the 2000’s are done and people aren’t throwing absurd amounts of cash at him while demanding another Bilbao.Â You could complain – and I’d agree to some extent on this – that Gehry is famous for being famous at this point, like a Kardashian of architecture. “Oh, I don’t know jack shit about architecture – but to sound cultured I’ll say I just loooove Frankie G.” His popularity hasÂ diminishedÂ his popularity – which is both kind of meta, and kind of stupid. But none of the typical complaints about Gehry are important this time around, because we have an incredible opportunity here.
We could get more giant binoculars.
Let’s face it – Gehry recycles ideas, just like everyone else. I’m not criticizing – I’m saying I hope he’s finally done rehashing the ideas of the last decade and jumps in the way-back machine to the late 80’s and brings backÂ Oldenburg and van Bruggen for some more oversized optics. I’m thinking a giant telescope-shaped building of some sort. It’s a slight shift from the binoculars, but is pretty much the same – like Bilbao and Disney! – while also being slightly phallic shaped, thus referencing NYC’s most famous architectural element. Boom -and that’s how architecture gets made people.
There’s no time for debate – he’s only got 699 days to go.
Interior of “Les Bains des Docks” by Jean Nouvel.
Photo by Clement Guillaume, via Flickr.
[image: Boilerrhouse Extention – Victoria and Albert Museum, London-(P. 18) 1996, acrylic on black paper, 37 x 57 inches]
I came across this images over at the Max Protetch Gallery site – which was recently linked to by the ninjas over at Archinect. The gallery features the work of a number of artists and architects, with a great selection available for viewing online – should definitely be checked-out. Here I’ve selected a few images by Zaha Hadid featured by the gallery, which I thought were particularly dope.
[image: Tokyo Forum II (Perspective Rotation) 1989, acrylic on black paper, 23 x 33 inches]
[image: 42nd Street Hotel – New York – Perspective View Along 8th Avenue 1995, acrylic on black paper, 58 x 42 1/2 inches Framed]
Well, my ninjas, it looks as if Foster has been kicked to the curb in San Francisco – and will not be getting that stimulus project that the Architect’s Newspaper reported on a while back. Instead, a local firm will be chosen to work on the project and receive the stimulus pay. To all my non-US based ninjas: I’m sorry to be so ‘pro-USA’ about this whole stimulus thing, but I expect you to be upset if your government is going to hire non-local designers on projects whose entire purpose is to create jobs and get people working/making money. Every ninja for him/herself around here these days…
*caution: rant ahead*
Really, I thought this was important because the legislation that dealt with whether or not stimulus funding had to be awarded to ‘local’ workers was some bullshit, pandering to ‘blue-collar’ Americans [steel manufacturers, in particular, I believe]. Look, I want politrick-cians to make sure ‘blue-collar’ workers are protected, but I hate that the rest of us are marginalized in their rhetoric. Do I work in a steel mill? No, but I still live here + vote. Architects, engineers, and designers are all US workers, too – our interests should be protected by our supposed representation as much as the next ninja. Those of us in ‘white-collar’ professions are just as desperate for work in this recession – and as the government is fairly consistently pushing for a ‘knowledge economy’, people who bought into the concept and became an architect or engineer [or whatever] instead of a construction worker [incurring massive debt, oftentimes, along the way] should be considered in the stimulus bill, too.
Anyways, this should all be in writing somewhere – guilt and bad publicity should not have entered into the decision to not award this stimulus project in SF to Foster. It should have been in the original legislation – and now it should be amended.
I’ve been kind of ‘on record’ as being deeply unhappy, and deeply uncomfortable about that kind of situation [‘starchitect’ title]… because I think every name describes a content, and the content of ‘star architect’ – compared to the content of ‘architect’ – is limited. Nobody thinks the star has good intentions. A star walks over you – a star is indifferent to what people think. My hope is that also, through the current complexity, that the title will exit discreetly and disappear.
~ Rem Koolhaas in CNN interview, which can be seen here.
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