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Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Golden Anniversary

 
 
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 01:15 pm
It's that time to celebrate the Wright giant cupcake in NYC. It's the one building a critic reviewed and dubbed him Frank Lloyd Wrong. What's your opinion?

http://a330.g.akamai.net/7/330/2540/20090430150936/www.interiordesign.net/articles/images/ID/20090430/OpeningCeremonies3.jpg

And a preliminary with Wedding cake strawberry icing version:

http://a330.g.akamai.net/7/330/2540/20090430150936/www.interiordesign.net/articles/images/ID/20090430/SRGM3.jpg





http://www.interiordesign.net/article/CA6655388.html?nid=2068
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 11,278 • Replies: 50
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 01:56 pm
@Lightwizard,
It's not my favorite building in all the world, but I've grown sort of fond of it over time. I admit to liking it in copper..
We discussed this at some point on a2k, as the building was getting a new paint job not too long ago. link - http://able2know.org/topic/105586-1

I've never been inside the Guggenheim. One more place on my list...
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 02:02 pm
@ossobuco,
When you see it in person, I'm afraid you'll be more disappointed. It is monolithic -- nearly every shot of the building is retouched as the surface finish (at least when I saw it and in some other, less flattering photos) looks like a bad stucco job. I wouldn't have minded the actual copper giving it almost a Frank Gehry look but it's out of proportion and Wright knew it. That's why he lowered the height of the building and made the individual bands that traverse the main structure bigger. It did mean less natural light coming in from the side glass but you already know the domed roof is translucent.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 02:06 pm
I couldn't figure out how a magazine of the caliber of Interior Design could find the worst shot of the building possible with the giant cupcake dominating the image. It's like a tabloid that picks a candid pic of a star with no makeup and frowning. This is a better one, despite the traffic lights.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/74/Guggenheim_museum_exterior.jpg
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 02:13 pm
@Lightwizard,
Hah, I found that photo too - I just reread the old thread, link above.

On the building, I've seen it, just not been inside. I was sucked into the maws of the Met, uh, four days in a row, and the Frick, and the Whitney and dozens of galleries on my last trip to NYC... but not into Guggy. I admit I think of the Guggenheim as misbegotten, but, as I mentioned, I've gotten sort of fond of it.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 03:08 pm
@Lightwizard,
I WAS NEVER A BIG FAN BECAUSE , it dated itself so quickly and is a grand waste of interior space. At least the East Wing of the National museum has some context and was so constructed and designed to be mindful of the galleries.

The only Wright "rules" I agree with are
1Only build a building on the brow of a hill, never the top.
Be mindful of the entire concept not a part alone (this would be great if Frank paid attention to what the Guggenheim was to be used for).

Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 03:21 pm
@farmerman,
I believe the design came out of Talisman West so Wright's proteges are responsible also and I believe the design just got overworked, like an overworked painting. The building looks great at some angles and fall flat from other angles. This is where I think Wright's judgment had failed him -- not terribly, but enough to make it one of his lesser buildings. I could never quite believe that the "giant up-side-down-cupcake" which I believe was the original remark didn't sink it as I it came up when the design was up-side-down where the building tapered narrower at the top.

I think Wright always had a problem with interiors -- I hated his furniture and he either opened up the interior with only a series of partitions dividing most of the living space or it was broken up into a muddle of tri-level rooms. Not much in between.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 03:27 pm
@Lightwizard,
Quote:
I hated his furniture and he either opened up the interior with only a series of partitions dividing most of the living space or it was broken up into a muddle of tri-level rooms

I know of what you speak. Theyve always said that Wrights furniture was good for anything except sitting. The dining room furniture at Falling water looks, to me, like an arrangement of electric chairs. He was going for a Rene Macintosh look and fucked it up. His synagogue in NEW HOPE(?) is also loaded with these crazy angles and unsittable seats.

The rooms in one prairie house near Chicago looked like a maze for rats. If his Taliesen crews did the designing of much of his later stuff, didnt he even assert his famous intermeddling dominant spirit?
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 03:35 pm
@farmerman,
It looks more like Arts & Crafts with the accent on the crafts instead of the arts.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 03:45 pm
@Lightwizard,
I love Arts n Crafts style (mission style) furniture, but even the STickley brothers believed in comfort. Frankie made sure you didnt fall asleep in a Morris Chair did he?
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Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:00 pm
Cupcake? It's a giant corkscrew. My friends (other NY natives) and I believe it's Wright's way of saying, "Screw you, Noo Yawk."

Not only is the outside ooky (and totally inappropriate for its surroundings), but the inside makes you seasick. Walk down that giant spiral and get nauseous.

The permanent collection has some fine paintings. I won't see them again despite the fact that the museum is down the street from me. Not looking to barf.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:02 pm
@Roberta,
Someone said that this was where Rodenberry got an idea for the shape of the ENTERPRISE
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:11 pm
Now I'm curious who was in that Taliesen West crew. Gregory Ain? I'll have to check. I mix up all the various "masters" proteges..
I admit to having bought a bunch of Wright books and not read them. Hah, part of my gift to the landarch department..

I don't mind peculiar chairs if they are they are the type to be feature pieces in a hallway rather than rooms in which sitting is the prime function - but I prefer comfort. I've owned two really great craftsman houses in California and kept away from the purist furnishings.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 04:17 pm
@farmerman,
As I said in - I think it was - the earlier thread, I think of this building as the progenitor of the followup art museum designs where the building is taken as art, and art has to struggle to be hung/placed successfully.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 06:00 pm
@ossobuco,
Taliesen West is the architectural school Wright formed in Scottsdale and designed the building. Here's a really evocative night view:

http://blog.aia.org/mt-static/plugins/Ajaxify/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/plugins/imagemanager/images/favorite_architecture_images/123_taliesin_west_lg.jpg

http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Taliesin_West.html
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 06:02 pm
@Lightwizard,
I've been there, but in the day time back in the late seventies. What I remember most is the great Thevetia peruviana by the front entry... not that I didn't like the building..
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 06:14 pm
@ossobuco,
A thevetia. The one at Taliesin had good form, natch. I've no idea if it is still there.

http://www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/%7Elycoris/200412_img_21%5B1%5D.jpg

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MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 06:20 pm
I've been to the Guggenheim a couple of times. Visually it's striking. As a museum tho, it's not that successful. It's kinda Wright making everybody dance to HIS tune of what a museum should be, and if you don't like it, tough. There's only one way to go: down. You start at the top and go round and round with a herd til you get to the bottom. It's crowded, because the ramp isn't that broad, you feel a bit like a cow about to go to the slaughtering pen. And it's LOUD. Hard, reflective surfaces and a shape that bounces sound back. I hate buildings that don't consider acoustics. I love a lot of Wright's stuff, but he really was autocratic. His buildings are not flexible. You live in them HIS way or you're uncomfortable (Well, not always. FallingWater gives you more freedom, at least). And he designed for his height. He was something like 5'6" and the ceilings in the halls at Taliesin West are something like 6'2" high. I'm 6'0" and they made me cringe every time I walked thru them. It's at times very AynRandian, the self conception of the architecht as Superman.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 06:56 pm
I still feel Falling Water is a spectacular work of architecture -- the most perfect melding of location and building:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ynkOxvGaV6s/Rqu-dQhSHDI/AAAAAAAABac/_KPiKd03gKs/s1600/fallingwater62.jpg

There are interior shots but they don't tell you much except that it was his concept of very open spaces and probably one of his more successful executions of that design element.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Tue 5 May, 2009 07:05 pm
Agreed, LW (though I've heard it's kinda damp, being above a waterfall and all, and his engineering on the cantilevers was a bit off and they sagged quite a lot and had to have a VERY expensive restoration recently. But it certainly is a spectacular house).
 

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