Forma | 308m | 84s | Great Gulf | Gehry Partners

Urban-Affair

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So many great points made here by all of you. So, how do we channel this to the people that (unfortunately) have the decision-making power, such as the design review panel, city 'staff', etc.? Is there a way we can form a community of some sort and voice our disdain on strange and illogical height limits pretty much throughout the downtown area? I still am not getting why there is a 157m cap in the entertainment district. With that being about 50 stories, what exactly does that achieve? It's not so short that it helps retain a low/mid rise character of any sort and the cap at 50-odd stories is resulting in all new buildings being of the same height....kind of like Vancouver...

Agreed the cap makes no sense to me either.
 

skyrise

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Wow, this dog's breakfast just got worse!.... Allow me to explain:

Gehry's appeal to the "fan-boy, teenager, gee-wow how did they do that, that's so cool, neat-o, far-out, sick, wicked!" mentality speaks to the unsophisticated nature of his design aesthetic. LET ME BE CLEAR: The design aesthetic and the overall look of the buildings is unsophisticated, NOT the engineering. The level of advanced engineering and construction to realize these monstrosities, is on the highest order and must be commended. However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Dr. Suess was designing buildings like this 60 years ago and guess who his target market was?

It is childish to swoon over the gee-wow factor, just as much as if these three 80-plus storey towers were in the shape of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and C3PO. They would receive the same accolades and marvel at the wonder of how they did that and the same fan-boy mentality would find it appealing. However, they are not the ones that I want my cities designed for.

It's bad enough that ALL Hollywood movies are written directed and acted for the benefit of the 13 year-old boy mentality, do we have to have our cities look like it too?

Oh... And anyone who disagrees with my opinion with a thoughtful, intelligent, well-formed, mature argument is a welcomed opponent for debate AND to anyone who takes my comments personally and is offended, you are a 13 year-old fan-boy and I don't argue with 13 year-olds.

Ah yes and there are those select few forumers who maintain an elitist attitude and dismiss the rest as ignorant of what constitutes good architecture and urbanism. They know what is best as their opinions are indeed facts. They pine over architects like Mies because his brilliance is not easily recognizable to the common folk. The subtly is lost and most will dismiss his work as plain boxes missing Mies’ design aesthetic. This ignorance feeds their self-importance and helps maintain their smugness. Much like the art, film and music world, elitists have a general disdain for anything that is populist. If the common folk admire it, it isn’t worthy. Gehry is on the opposite spectrum of Mies. Mies’ designs were all about form follows function, while Gehry is all about function follows form. Mies was all about subtle nuances; Gehry’s designs are audacious and in your face. They believe that the great unwashed who appreciate accessible designs are incapable of admiring other forms or understanding the sum of all parts that constitutes great architecture. They paint all with the same broad brush and prefer to hurl indirect insults rather than enter into a dialogue to support their position.
 
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Traynor

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I'll repost my clarification I posted on the front page story:

OK, let me make this really simple to understand:

Just being cool is not enough. Good architecture needs to be beautiful too. It must ADD to it's surroundings or even elevate them to a new level.

Yes, it is really cool that these buildings look like they are melting, and the impossible angles of all the walls is fascinating but what other things in life are considered beautiful when they are melted or all crumpled up? You have a car accident, you don't drive around with crumpled fenders, proud of the improvement to the car's design. You get it repaired.

A thing needs to be cool AND attractive to the eye, or it is just appealing to the "gee wow, how do they do that" wonder of the 13 year-old mind.

For example a trompe-l'oeil mural, adds a sense of three-dimension to a wall AND creates a beautiful image or view. Just making the wall appear to have depth but with no content would be gee-wow the wall looks like it's made of cotton candy but to what end? Why do you want a wall that looks like cotton candy? A wall made of real cotton candy would be a disaster... And so would a building that was REALLY melting. So all you end up doing is appealing to the wonder of it, but not the beauty.

Ask your girlfriend (if you have one) Transformers is a BAD movie (all of them). Sure they have gee-wow cool special effects but bad acting, bad story telling, bad directing... just bad, Bad, BAD. It's like a diet of only candy, no substance. You need substance. If you like movies like that, then these buildings are perfect for you because they too are aimed at the mentality of your average the 13 year-old.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Traynor:

Except your statement posited that this project does not add to its' surroundings or is "beautiful" - an assertion I challenge. Personally, I was moved by the beauty of what was proposed (i.e. towers rising out of smoky wisps) - and not because it is an engineering challenge (because we all know that it could be done) and how cool that'd be. It is a visceral reaction that I associate with being in the presence of beauty. And in any case, I don't believe my sense of beauty is any less than yours.

AoD
 
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Traynor

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And my response to someone who said these buildings must be good because other people praise Gehry and give him awards:

Oh, other people like it, so it must be good... My mistake.

He is also a repetitive hack, a one-trick pony, constantly re-hashing the same theme until he gets it right. It's like he saw something once in a dream and he has spent his whole career trying to replicate the image.
 

RiverCity1

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I think it's a cool proposal. And I really don't mind being called a 13 year old :p An 84 year old is designing them...I'm sure he'd be happy to be called a 13 year old, too lol :eek:
 

Ramako

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He is also a repetitive hack, a one-trick pony, constantly re-hashing the same theme until he gets it right. It's like he saw something once in a dream and he has spent his whole career trying to replicate the image.

That could be said of almost every architect: Mies, Foster, Rogers, Libeskind, Clewes, etc... all come back to the same themes over and over again in their work.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Traynor:

He is also a repetitive hack, a one-trick pony, constantly re-hashing the same theme until he gets it right. It's like he saw something once in a dream and he has spent his whole career trying to replicate the image.

It doesn't diminish the worth of TD Centre, even though it was basically a rehash of Seagram. Your statement oversimplfies.

AoD
 

Traynor

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I think it's a cool proposal. And I really don't mind being called a 13 year old :p An 84 year old is designing them...I'm sure he'd be happy to be called a 13 year old, too lol :eek:

Looking like and acting like are VERY different things.

That could be said of almost every architect: Mies, Foster, Rogers, Libeskind, Clewes, etc... all come back to the same themes over and over again in their work.

Exactly! Genius is almost always one dimensional.

George Lucas and Star Wars is a good example.... Star Wars was ground breaking, even genius and every sequel after re-hashed themes and imagery until the point of repetition and poor quality.
 

Traynor

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Traynor:



It doesn't diminish the worth of TD Centre, even though it was basically a rehash of Seagram. Your statement oversimplfies.

AoD

Because the original was revolutionary AND beautiful in it's simplicity. A colour reproduction of a Rembrandt is still a beautiful image. It's value may be less but the beauty is still apparent.

You're still not getting it.

There is NO inherent beauty in CRUMPLED. NO crumpled building is ever considered beautiful. They are torn down. So take away Gehry's crumples and all you have left is... Well, nothing. No substance.
 

ttk77

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I think the analogies being used here are wrong, and that it's very much a case of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Compare Mona Lisa with Weeping Woman, both great works of art by highly respected artists, but some will have very definite preferences for one over the other.
 

skyrise

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I'll repost my clarification I posted on the front page story:

OK, let me make this really simple to understand:

Just being cool is not enough. Good architecture needs to be beautiful too. It must ADD to it's surroundings or even elevate them to a new level.

Yes, it is really cool that these buildings look like they are melting, and the impossible angles of all the walls is fascinating but what other things in life are considered beautiful when they are melted or all crumpled up? You have a car accident, you don't drive around with crumpled fenders, proud of the improvement to the car's design. You get it repaired.

A thing needs to be cool AND attractive to the eye, or it is just appealing to the "gee wow, how do they do that" wonder of the 13 year-old mind.

For example a trompe-l'oeil mural, adds a sense of three-dimension to a wall AND creates a beautiful image or view. Just making the wall appear to have depth but with no content would be gee-wow the wall looks like it's made of cotton candy but to what end? Why do you want a wall that looks like cotton candy? A wall made of real cotton candy would be a disaster... And so would a building that was REALLY melting. So all you end up doing is appealing to the wonder of it, but not the beauty.

Ask your girlfriend (if you have one) Transformers is a BAD movie (all of them). Sure they have gee-wow cool special effects but bad acting, bad story telling, bad directing... just bad, Bad, BAD. It's like a diet of only candy, no substance. You need substance. If you like movies like that, then these buildings are perfect for you because they too are aimed at the mentality of your average the 13 year-old.

I agree the original proposal in its earlier stages was disjointed and lacked context to its surrounding. I posted early in this thread that I was not impressed with that incarnation. It is evolving nicely now and the towers relate to each other much better then they did before. The podium needs work but has improved and the project overall needs further refinement. I have confidence that the final design will address most of these concerns and is shaping up to be one of Ghery's best projects.

I view Ghery's work as sculptural and organic and while it has a very broad appeal, I do not dismiss it as purely gee whiz architecture. The Beatles were the most popular band in the world, this does not diminish the quality and brilliance of their work. Gehry is willing to step out of the box and do something that no one else is doing. I admire this.

Ghery has been named the most important architect of our age by The World Architecture survey and is very well respected amongst his peers. He has designed the most important institutions of our time throughout the world. His work may be controversial but I firmly believe it will stand the test of time.

Oh ya and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

Ramako

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I think the analogies being used here are wrong, and that it's very much a case of "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Compare Mona Lisa with Weeping Woman, both great works of art by highly respected artists, but some will have very definite preferences for one over the other.

Indeed. I think the middle and west tower both have the potential to be very beautiful, especially if the latter is clad in some kind of bronze or copper coloured material. I'm not a huge fan of the east tower.
 

Traynor

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

It is a great truism, but only useful if each beholder asks of themselves. Why is it beautiful to me?

If your only answer is "Because it's so cool how the walls undulate and it's amazing how they do that" then I have made my point.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Because the original was revolutionary AND beautiful in it's simplicity. A colour reproduction of a Rembrandt is still a beautiful image. It's value may be less but the beauty is still apparent.

That's really incorrect - considering the vocabulary used in TD Centre had been in the Miesian vocabulary for years. What you are saying here is that it isn't an exact copy - well, guess what, neither are any of Gehry's buildings exact copies of one another by that definition.

There is NO inherent beauty in CRUMPLED. NO crumpled building is ever considered beautiful. They are torn down. So take away Gehry's crumples and all you have left is... Well, nothing. No substance.

No offense, but there is no inherent beauty in *anything* - and before you said anything about no crumpled building is ever considered beautiful - I'd point you to the ruins around the world, even WTC. It might be macabre, but it certainly was "beautiful". Besides, "crumpled" suggest an undesirable state of disorder - which really isn't an accurate term given there is order in his work.

If your only answer is "Because it's so cool how the walls undulate and it's amazing how they do that" then I have made my point.

I think some of us already provided you with the answer going far beyond such puerile terms but you're dismissive with the assertion that no "crumpled" building is beautiful.

AoD
 
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