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Serpentine Gallery in London Features Architect Frank Gehry

abstract:Each summer in London's Hyde Park the Serpentine Gallery asks a different modern architect to design and build a temporary structure for public display. This year it happens to be Canadian-born uber-architect, Frank Gehry. This is his first built structure in the UK. Known for his dramatic fluid titanium sheet metal skins on the amorphous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao in Spain, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Frank has this year designed a pavilion of glass and wood that could easily be adapted to a garden space connecting buildings on your property. Find out more about his inspiration for the project and browse through a collection of architecture books and films on the master. (photo credit, Paula Shackleton)


July 24, 2008
— Gehry has been labeled a "Starchitect," a neologism that would also have stood for Renaissance artist-inventor Michelangelo, whose catpult drawings served as inspiration for the structural lines of the Serpentine pavilion. Like the Sistine Chapel, Frank Gehry's buildings are a world-wide tourist attraction. People are fascinated by his designs. A member of the post modern group of architects, Frank is a leader of the "DeCon" or deconstructivist movement. If you want to get to know Frank Gehry the man and see his creative methods, I highly recommend watching the documentary, "Sketches of Frank" made by his late great friend and filmmaker Sydney Pollack. (IMDB link)

If you have ever been asked by your high school art teacher to create a pencil drawing of an object without lifting the tip of the pencil off the paper, you've probably created something resembling one of Frank's sketches. The simplicity of line and playfulness is universally appealing.

If not for advances in computerized aided design (CAD) programs and revolutionary use of new building materials, this amorphous, unconventional style would not be possible. Take a piece of stiff paper and crumple it into a ball and then unfold it to witness the haphazard planes of the surfaces of a Gehry creation.

I was fortunate to be living in Los Angeles during the construction and completion of the Disney Concert Hall, and have toured the building inside and out. It is breathtaking. At the time I was living in a noted Post Modern architctectural critic's homeŚCharles Jencks, whose library of authored books were at my disposal. Frank donated a building design for a hospice located in Dundee, Scotland in memory of Charles' lovely wife, Maggie.

One fine Thursday afternoon when I was covering the store for a friend's photo exhibit gallery on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, a bevy of handsome middle-aged men all curiously dressed predominantly in black came into the gallery to browse the works. I discovered it was none other than Frank Gehry and several architect associates. Having walked past his eclectic and modest house in Santa Monica, I knew he lived just minutes away, so it was not surprising to see him. But one couldn't help feel that small titilated rush of excitement.

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