The Guggenheim could be headed to the land of a thousand lakes. Helsinki's Mayor Jussi Pajunen announced today that the city is commissioning the venerable museum to conduct a concept and development study to be completed by the end of the year to determine the potential museum's economic impact and mission. Citing major development gains in recent years, city leaders hope to cash in on the international recognition of the Guggenheim that could spur their own Bilbao-effect."It is widely recognized that cultural destinations can help drive economic growth for a country," said Mayor Pajunen in a release. "This is a collaboration that can help Helsinki and Finland prosper in an increasingly interconnected and competitive world." Beyond mere finances, though, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Helsinki are in search of a museum for the 21st century capable of international sharing. The Guggenheim's Richard Armstrongsays, "For the Guggenheim, this study with Finland is a very compelling opportunity to continue our investigations into the possibilities of global interchange" Once complete, the study's recommendations must be reviewed by both Helsinki and the Guggenheim Foundation before any architecture is involved. [ Original photo courtesy Paul Allais/flickr. ]
Posts tagged with "Guggenheim":
An exhibition of architectural photographer Ezra Stoller’s work will open at the Yossi Milo Gallery tonight in New York and runs through February 12. A few of the photos are instantly recognizable, such as a photo of the Guggenheim lobby featuring women in pillbox hats standing in the foreground. But the gems of the show are those taken off the beaten path, like the roof of the Seagram’s Building or a parking garage in Miami. “We see it as a mini-retrospective,” said Milo. “We wanted to show more than the slam-dunk photos, to give it more depth.” The images show not only Stoller’s precise technical ability, but also reveal the self-effacing nature of architectural photography: that of an artist recording work of another artist. But the depth of Stoller’s appreciation for art and design makes it easy to forget that one is looking at a stand alone work of art. Not only is the genius of Mies, Wright and Saarinen observed, but the works of Picasso, Kandinsky, and Miro peer out from building interiors as well. The artworks act as a magnet, pulling the viewer further in. In a single shot of a Seagram interior one of Rothko’s “Red” paintings hangs next to the next to an Eames sofa which sits across from a Franz Kline. “These were such new ideas. Now people sit with an iPhone and think that’s modern,” Milo said gesturing to the photograph. The gallery owner noted that some photos that didn’t make it into the show revealed the photographer’s intense interest in the building process. “There are photos from the beginning of when the U.N. was being built. He kept going back and going back,” he said. The images show buildings shot at all times of day and in all kinds of weather, taken at night, in the rain, after the rain, or, as in one photo of Saarinen’s TWA terminal, as a lightning storm approaches. That particular silver print holds varying tones of white within the building interior, while simultaneously retaining all the grays and blacks of the approaching storm.
Local boy Andre Kikoski won the James Beard Award today for his flashy new restaurant inside the Guggenheim Museum. It replaced the once dowdy cafeteria designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, for whom the award-winning eatery is named, long a vestigial space tucked in under the museum's sweeping rotunda. Now all flashy curves and color, Kikoski's space, which opened in January, was even considered a might bit better than the food served therein by New York food critic Adam Platt. The Wright beat out another local spot, Brooklyn's Choice Kitchens & Bakery by Evan Douglis Studio, and Greensboro, Alabama's PieLab, designed by Project M. Kikoski joins recent award winners Thomas Schleeser of Design Bureaux (2009) for Chicago's Publican, Tadao Ando (2008) for Morimoto New York, Lewis Tsuramaki Lewis (2007) for New York's (now defunct) Xing, Bentel and Bentel (2006) for the Modern... (We're noticing a trend here, which maybe helps explain why the food in the city is so darn good.)
HITCHIN’ A RIDE With its price hikes, worker strife, and bureaucratic image, LA METRO doesn’t exactly set the standard for good press. But that appears to be changing as the transit authority has hired two of our favorite writers to supply in-house news and consulting. After being laid off by the Los Angeles Times in March, transit reporter Steve Hymon was hired by Metro to put together its new transit blog, The Source. On November 20, AN contributor Sam Hall Kaplan announced that he had been hired by Metro to be a transportation planning manager, with a focus on “crafting a user-friendly interface in Downtown LA between the Metro and the proposed California High Speed Rail,” in particular for stations and streetscapes. Eavesdrop hopes there’s one more spot for a guy who would like to check out the coolest cities and their metro systems for ideas—say Paris, Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo. AVE ATQUE VALETS! Bad blood is stirring between the William Morris Endeavor talent agency and developers George Comfort & Sons, as the agency tries to extract itself from a lease at a building now under construction at 231-265 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. Earlier this fall, WME contended that Comfort & Sons had violated the lease, because the agency would be forced to share a valet service and parking with a competitor (God forfend!) in a neighboring building. Prior to William Morris’ mega-merger with Endeavor, the agency had hired Gensler to design the interiors for 231. Enter Ari Emanuel, then head of Endeavor, who now runs the WME shop—where egos in excess outstrip even the most brazen architect. The agent fired Gensler and hired Neil Denari. Then came word that Emanuel was trying to leave the Beverly Drive address entirely. Now, no one is talking, at least not to us. Or is it Eavesdrop’s Corvair? Gensler declined to comment, while Denari’s firm tells us they’re still on hold. As for the valets, we hear they’re deeply offended. Naturally.
WHY TV APPEARANCES MATTER
Why take ourselves seriously as architecture critics when we can be lampooned on The Colbert Report in order to sell a few books? Whoops, that’s not Eavesdrop’s game. That’s New Yorker critic Paul Goldberger, who sat gamely grinning in the hot seat on November 19 while Colbert ridiculed—uh, make that discussed—world architecture and Goldberger’s new book, Why Architecture Matters. After a rocky start (Colbert mis-pronounced Goldberger’s name in the intro), Colbert proceeded to grill the author on the possibility of landmarking the Colbert Report set. Then, he suggested putting a toilet handle on the Guggenheim, and asked if he could skateboard down the Gugg’s ramp (Why not? Krens would have—might have—motorbiked it if he had the chance). Finally, Colbert pondered aloud that if architecture reflects who we are, as Goldberger’s book claims, then how come our houses aren’t getting fatter? Goldberger took it all in stride, relishing the rare chance among architecture authors to bathe in the brighter lights of TV-bound public attention. Fair warning, though: Eavesdrop’s aiming to get on Oprah with an architecture Tell-All.
Send METRO passes and teleprompters to Eavesdrop@archpaper.com.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Last week, we threw out some ideas for architectural-themed Halloween costumes, including a proposal for a New Museum costume. Well, we've been one-, make that twice-upped by this adorable trio, who were spotted Trick-or-Treating in Cobble Hill by a colleague. Marcel Breuer, Frank Lloyd Wright, and SANAA must be so proud.
The invitation billed it as an exclusive conversation about “the potential of architecture for urban, economic, and political change.” But when Frank Gehry and Richard Armstrong, director of the Guggenheim Museum, sat down before the mics after one and half hours of benefit chow at a new Wall Street steakhouse and just 15 minutes before the event was to end, the talk, like the $200/plate mashed potatoes and pureed spinach, was noticeably soft. With a game intro by the restaurateur of The Capital Grille referencing Gehry’s Experience Music Project in Seattle and his new project in “Abu Dhabi Dubai,” the chatter was off to an equally idiosyncratic start. Armstrong asked the famed architect about Frank Lloyd Wright. “Mostly, I stayed away from him, like everyone at Harvard and because I was a liberal do-gooder, and Wright was antithetical to all that,” Gehry said, adding that he went out of his away to avoid Wright when he came to give a lecture, citing his “totalitarian humanism.” Gehry explained that he evenutally gave in and drove off to Taliesin with his wife and two daughters all packed into the VW. They arrived and the flag was up the mast, indicating that the master was in residence. Driving up to the gatehouse, Gehry was informed that the entry fee was a dollar each for himself, his wife, and his two children. “I told them to shove off, and drove away,” Gehry said.
On Wednesday night, the Guggenheim brought together the women behind the man, and apparently the myth of Frank Lloyd Wright, in a program titled “The Architecture of Wright: Wright, Women & Narrative." Co-organized with the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, the lecture was accompanied by the premiere of A Girl Is A Fellow Here: 100 Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, a 15-minute documentary film produced by the Foundation. Throughout his career, Wright employed over 100 women architects and designers, and the film focuses on the lives of six of these women, including Marion Mahony, Isabel Roberts, Lois Gottlieb, Jane Duncombe, Eleanore Petterson, and Read Weber, who worked alongside Wright during his prolific career from his Oak Park offices to Taliesin West.Through their work and words, the film reveals what each woman learned from their time with Wright, what they took with them, and how they went on to become established architects in their own right. From splitting wood, to laying shingles, drafting, and designing, women were treated as equals under Wright. Given the opportunity of training and practice, the film shows, these women went from apprentices to partners and owners of their own firms, creating thousands of projects across the country. While the film focused more specifically on the women and their role in the history of modern architecture (which unfortunately, for the most part, was overlooked until this documentary), the accompanying discussion, led by Suzannah Lessard with Carol Gilligan and Gwendolyn Wright, was structured around Wright. Using the documentary as a catalyst, the lecture delved into deeper issues of architectural narrative and how Wright’s autonomy often overshadowed his collaborative relationships, in this case, with the women he employed. The film is scheduled to be released in mid-July, and will soon be available on the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s website.
Perhaps we were too busy checking out the jaw-dropping FLW retrospective at the aforementioned museum to notice, but two weeks ago, LEGO and the Wright Foundation announced they would launch two new, rather amazing sets to honor the architect's centennial, part of a new Architecture line your LEGO-obsessed editors were heretofore also ignorant of. Created with former architect Adam Reed Tucker (he's done some amazing stuff with LEGOs) and his company Brickstructure, the Wright models can be purchased on his site, as well as ones for the Sears Tower, John Hancock Building, Seattle Space Needle, and Empire State Building, can be purchased here. The Guggenheim costs $40 plus shipping and handling, and Falling Water should run $100 when it goes on sale. It's a pretty good deal, given the detail Tucker put into his work, as he told NPR's All Things Considered
"That one's actually interactive," Tucker says. "It actually comes apart in a puzzlelike formation so you can get into the guts of the building and see the levels, understand his use of cantilever and how the forms play together." The Lego version of the building can even be lifted off its base. "What's neat about that is people can actually see how the foundation of a structure is rooted into the environment," Tucker says.Really, though, you have to go listen to the audio, as the fine folks at public radio also put together a mock ad for the new LEGO line. Because really, there's noting like hearing a radio announcer declare, "Kids are going crazy over Usonian homes and organic architecture!"
Over the weekend, I caught a screening of Burn After Reading, which turned out to be better than the reviews would have you believe. But the biggest surprise was the trailer for The International. Watching the opening scene, you're probably thinking the same thing I did: The financial crisis, coming to a theater near you. But beyond the (once?) absurd plot of a the world's largest bank funding murders and coups, the movie looks like it could be the most architecturally savvy since The Fountainhead. To wit: The opening scene (of the trailer--the movie's not out until next February, no doubt in time for the Oscars) is a shot of Cass Gilbert's Woolworth Building, once the city's tallest and still one of its most recognizable. While countless movies open with aerial shots of skyscrapers both recognizable and not--Wall Street, Ground Hog Day, in the near future Blade Runner--few so lovingly embrace iconic buildings, both new and very old, in the way The International does, or at least seems to. From the typically non-descript post-post-modern glass towers of modern finance to more refined and identifiable landmarks like Zaha Hadid's Phaeno Science Center and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, architecture approaches a fetishitic level in the film/trailer. (Limited edition AN tote bag to the first reader who can actually identify the seemingly contrived headquarters/rendering at the 0:47 mark. Leave a comment if that thing is for real.) All this high level design could simply be a reflection of the zeitgeist, as bold-face architects like Hadid and Frank Gehry have become ubiquitous marketing brands in recent years. How then to explain the film's most shocking architectural gesture: a shoot out in Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum. Just as director Tom Twykers (of Run Lola Run fame) picked the perfect moment to launch a movie about an evil bank-- whether he knew it or not--maybe he also was right on the mark in heralding the death of high design. Or maybe it's just a movie trailer. Check back in a few for a full report.
Last evening a crowd of one hundred or so gathered on museum mile in front of the Guggenheim Museum to mark the completion of its three-year renovation project with a champagne reception and a ceremony officiated by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Arriving fashionably late, Bloomberg addressed the crowd with his typical charisma, candidly remarking that the new restoration is “one of the best facelifts on 5th Avenue.” Bloomberg also stated that despite the tough financial times we have recently come upon, the City will continue investing in art and cultural institutions, like the Guggenheim. At the conclusion of Bloomberg’s speech, the official ribbon cutting ceremony revealed a large sign draped over the front exterior of the building that read, “Good As New." Marc Steglitz, the Guggenheim Museum's Interim Director-Elect, later commented that the building is actually "better than new," but said that he was told that he could not say that in fear of the lurking preservationists in the crowd! The celebration also included the inauguration of a site-specific work of art created by artist Jenny Holzer to illuminate the building’s newly restored facade and in honor of the restoration’s major benefactor Peter B. Lewis. Jenny Holzer’s site-specific light project, entitled, For the Guggenheim, cast large-scale texts comprised of her own writings as well as numerous poems directly onto the exterior of the Frank Lloyd Wright building, noticeably transforming the building and its surroundings. For the Guggenheim will be illuminated every Friday evening, beginning September 26 through December 31, 2008, from dusk to 11 p.m., with a special additional showing on New Year's Eve. On an aside, the Guggenheim is offering a day of free admission on October 30, to thank New Yorkers for their patience during the last three years of restoration.