Monday, January 28, 2008

He sees angels in the architecture...

Last week I watched a pretty good documentary on Frank Gehry.

One of the most interesting parts of the documentary was when Gehry recounted a conversation he had with Jim Rouse. He was eating dinner with Jim Rouse the night of the opening of Santa Monica Place, a Rouse Co. owned mall. Jim looked around at Gehry's self-designed house and asked him "Do you like this? You must like it" to which Gehry replied "Yes." Jim asked him how, then, could he like Santa Monica Place. Gehry replied he didn't, and that he did it just to make a living. Rouse told him to stop.

Let’s face it, the architecture that Gehry is known for is not the work he did in Columbia. As a matter of fact, Gehry probably does not even like those buildings. But Gehry admitted that he has Jim Rouse to thank for breaking free of the cool but “sensible” designs he was doing to focus on the funky and wild stuff that he is now known for. That’s pretty neat.

6 comments:

B. Santos said...

I can agree with you on the Exhibit Center and the Fire Station, but I think the former Rouse Headquarters and MPP are well done.

Freemarket said...

I think all of Gehry’s buildings in Columbia are well done. My point is that those buildings are not representative of the architecture that Gehry is famous for.

John G. Boyle said...

Fascinating! Never heard that story. Thankss, FM.

Anonymous said...

Fascinating indeed. Although for some reason, it sounds eerily familiar.

Anonymous said...

Matt Devedo was having dinner with Gehry ass the story goes....and he loves to talk about it. He succeeded Rouse and was the CEO of the Rouse Company at the time the Sana Monica Shopping Center was under constructed.

Maybe folklore stories have a life of their own.

Freemarket said...

Anon- thanks for sharing that. It probably was Matt DeVito, not Jim Rouse. I assumed that it was Rouse that Gehry was referring to in the documentary, although he just said “the president of the Rouse Company”. My sincere apologies to Mr. DeVito!