This building involved my partner and me in a discussion. He said that Frank Gehry should be loyal to his principles and should have followed his own design guidelines. You understand what I mean, the similar buildings that look like roses, built everywhere. And I stated that he would have to respect the city´s environment, the urban historical guidelines; I don´t like the idea of ¨stamping¨ buildings everywhere.
I have a colleague friend who prepared a project at the beach front, in Miami, and he emailed me the conditions. Absolutely strict, his modern house wouldn´t be approved by the City Council. He fought as much as he could, but here we have Gehry, that succumbed to the temptation of a huge fee. Now, the question is, does Miami need to pay such amount of money? Well, the same happened in Bilbao, in the future, the dividends are brought by tourists. Bilbao was suddenly improved by the mere existence of Gehry´s building. That was the city´s objective.
Here I have some excerpts from the article by Ines Hegedus García, for the Prime Miami Beach. com. It´s really interesting and it has some links to complete the story´s gossip about Gehry. All pictures are downloaded from the article.
¨The story behind the new building….shortened for brevity’s sake, is that Michael Tilson Thomas (Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, aka MTT), was babysat by Frank Gehry, who ended up designing the building because of their long established friendship. Miami Beach would get a top notch architectural landmark because of MTT’s influence! There were 3 aspects to the project: a parking structure, the actual concert hall, and a public park. Frank didn’t want to do the parking structure….DUH! why in the world would the City of Miami Beach commission a parking lot to a renown architect? But the city pushed and Gehry ended up doing the parking lot and the building, the budget then did not allow for the park, Gehry withdrew from the project and someone else did the park (West 8, a Dutch landscape architecture firm) <<< I’m over-simplifying here but want to get to the important part of the story, which is the building itself.
Of course I was bummed out that Gehry didn’t get to design the most important aspect of the project. The public park will be the key ingredient to incorporating the building into Lincoln Road’s existing life – if not done correctly, the city and the NWS will have to go back to the drawing table to make the space work. When I asked why a talented local like Raymond Jungles was not commissioned for the space, I was at least happy to hear that he had been hired to do the Rooftop terrace. (....)I started documenting the “Gehryfication” of the structure from the moment construction began and to my and others’ surprise, it was pretty damn boxy. FOR REAL? A Frank Gehry building that did not have his signature? Especially when he’s known for “turning his pencil against traditional box-shaped buildings”. What in the world was going on?
As the box continued to get finished, I hoped that the gehryfication happened in the interior and that’s why I was so happy to go on the tour. I am happy to inform you that it DOES happen in the interior and once you hear the concept, it all starts making more and more sense. According to Gehry, this was to be a “program driven building”, and as you can tell by the complicated program, this would be no easy task.¨