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Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 12:08 pm EDT

Frank Gehry Is Still the World's Worst Living Architect

Panama NewsBy GEOFF MANAUGH - While it's been widely known for at least a decade that Frank Gehry is the world's worst living architect, it's not entirely clear why some people—mostly very rich clients—haven't picked up on this yet. The utterly god awful and ridiculous Biomuseo in Panama, an eco-discovery center that cost at least $60 million and took a decade to construct, is only the most recent case in point.

Gehry long ago stopped pursuing any interesting material or tectonic experimentation—and he used to be an interesting architect!—to become the multi-billion dollar equivalent of a Salvador Dalì poster tacked to the wall in a stoned lacrosse player's dorm room, an isn't-it-trippy pile of pseudo-psychedelic bullshit that everyone but billionaire urban developers can see through right away. What's particularly frustrating about Gehry's career is that he's somehow meant to be cool, a kind of sci-fi architect for the Millennial generation, a Timothy Leary of CAD; but he's Guy Fieri, his buildings hair-gelled monsters of advanced spatial douchebaggery.

His work is badly constructed, ravey-balls hair metal, a C.C. DeVille guitar solo that cannot—will not—end until the billionaire clients who keep paying for this shit can be stopped. Worse, no matter how much diagrammatic handwaving someone like architectural theorist extraordinaire Peter Eisenman can do—and he can do an awful lot of it—to convince you that Gehry is, or was once long ago, on to something interesting, these buildings are not even compelling from a theoretical standpoint. So, yeah, he used software normally found in airplane design—great. That's awesome. I can imagine amazing things coming out of such an irreverent mixing of design tools.

But the results are just crumpled Reynold's Wrap on an otherwise white-bread interior, a boring, room-by-room grid surrounded by hair spray, like some lunatic version of Phyllis Diller blown up to the size of a city block and frozen mid-stroke.

Gehry has already built the worst new residential building in New York City of the past five years, and now he's on his way to ruin part of downtown Berlin with a faux-golden Accessorize trinket you'd expect to find in a 1980s roller rink in suburban Wisconsin. It's like a JWoww unsuspecting Germans can live in.

But it's no use. We're stuck with this guy for what feels like forever. It's like being forced to watch M. Night Shyamalan films when you were hoping for David Cronenberg, or being stuck in a room with Steve Vai when you thought you were listening to Andrés Segovia.

No doubt, in a city council out there even as I type this, some doe-eyed general manager is shaking up a can of crazy string and preparing to enfecalize an entire neighborhood near you with the pink slime of another Frank Gehry, a man for whom architecture is all McNuggets, all the time.

The tech world might have Moore's Law, but architecture has found its own unbreakable rule: year after year, Frank Gehry will always get worse.

Editor's Comment: Thank God. Someone who hates this new monstrosity as much as I do. I remember back when this thing was first unveiled. I think it was at an ExpoComer at the Atlapa. There was a booth set up, and a bunch of suits were standing around sipping glasses of champagne. A model (mock up) of the Biodiversity museum was there in the middle of them. Frank Gehry was standing there, and he asked me what I though of it. I told him (to his face) that the building they were proposing to build on Amador was the single ugliest building I had ever seen. I told him I thought it was totally and absolutely inappropriate for the space and the setting. And while it might be his idea of a wet dream, I hoped it would never be built. Jaws dropped all around. I bid them a good day, and left. So here we are now, ten years later. And there it is. It still sucks.

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Frank Gehry Is Still the World's Worst Living Architect | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Frank Gehry Is Still the World\'s Worst Living Architect
Authored by: JPANAMA on Saturday, February 15 2014 @ 07:49 am EST

I agree with your views 100%. It is probably the most grotesque structure I have ever seen.

Frank Gehry Is Still the World\'s Worst Living Architect
Authored by: ADG on Saturday, February 15 2014 @ 06:03 pm EST

This has to be the worst architecture I've ever seen! And I've been a builder for over 30 years, and I've seen some really ugly shit.

I have no idea what Franky boy was trying to express with this. Looks like he consulted a bunch of 10 year olds, gave them construction paper, and asked them to make paper airplanes that wont fly for his roof design.

Don, at ATLAPA was the model made of Play-Dough?

Frank Gehry Is Still the World\'s Worst Living Architect
Authored by: Owen_St_Girl on Sunday, February 16 2014 @ 12:06 pm EST

At least they used matte colors on their metals. Here, in Seattle, his eyesore - Experience Music Project - is shiny and reflects the sun; blindingly on sunny days.

I guess, his being married to a Panamanian, is what prompted this POS.

Frank Gehry Is Still the World\'s Worst Living Architect
Authored by: ldfalco on Monday, February 17 2014 @ 08:47 am EST

I agree wholeheartedly. It is an eyesore from any angle. It reminds me of the "housing structures" that once were the norm in Curundu and Boca La Caja. Most of those had been torn down and replaced with decent housing.

Frank Gehry Is Still the World\'s Worst Living Architect
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 17 2014 @ 02:18 pm EST

It looks like someone shit a bunch of skittles. How long till it gets tore down and something appropriate goes up in its place?