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« Time Management and Dating | Main | Hawaii Notes »

December 08, 2009

A Gehry Encore En-Corpse

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --


It's in Las Vegas. I drove past it a couple of weeks ago. And what is it?

Architect Frank Gehry's latest, an institute dealing with brain disease; more info here, and a wordless take by John Massengale here.

There's one thing about the structure that makes me curious: what will the interior be like once it opens for business.

Gehry, in my judgment has become the sorry victim of his apparent compulsion to be "creative" at all costs.

This architect needs help or, failing that, instant retirement before he does more visual damage.



posted by Donald at December 8, 2009


Well, with fewer wet days per year, the Las Vegas people may be spared some of the hardships that caused MIT to sue Gehry.

One can only hope so. Don't they break your legs in that town if you sell them a dud?

Posted by: Robert Townshend on December 8, 2009 10:09 PM

The people who signed off on the plan and are paying for the project need help as much as Gehry. Brain institute, huh? Figures.

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on December 8, 2009 10:29 PM

I think it will someday make a splendid historic momument commemorating the kind of delusion that once passed for creativity in the 20th century West. I imagine a plaque with something like this on it: "As their governments spent the people into penury with promises of 'free health care for all' and concern about the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, 20th century Westerners actually paid large sums of money to have someone design buildings this impractical and ugly. Historians are divided on whether it represented the nihilism of the time or was actually a product of sophisticated con men."

Posted by: Mark on December 8, 2009 11:53 PM

Look kids, it's a symbol of the long term fate of Las Vegas and other cities built where water gets used faster than it can be replenished!

Posted by: Spike Gomes on December 9, 2009 12:23 AM

This building is beyond absurd. But the responsibility is less with the architect-clown Gehry than with the various boards and authorities who approved it.

Posted by: Rick Darby on December 9, 2009 8:59 AM

Not to be a pissant, but I kinda like it. I find it witty and interesting. When I clicked on your first link and saw the other three buildings that it shares the intersection with I liked it even more. If it is typical of other Gehry buildings the interior is likely to be quite functional and seem far less unconventional.

Posted by: Chris White on December 9, 2009 11:08 AM

Much to my surprise, since I've never thought highly of those of Gehry's designs that I was aware of, like Disney Hall here in L.A., I find the building shown here quite amusing.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on December 9, 2009 11:19 AM

Like Peter, I'm not really a Gehry fan, but I have to admit I thought it was pretty hilarious, particularly for an institute dealing with brain disease! And not really any more absurd than some of the other buildings in Las Vegas.

Posted by: Steve on December 9, 2009 11:59 AM

Meh. I've shat better buildings.

Posted by: Andrea Palladio on December 9, 2009 12:53 PM

I want to hang out with the plumbers, carpenters, and electricians who worked on site.

Posted by: jz on December 9, 2009 1:52 PM

I like some of Gehry's stuff (Bilbao, Disney Hall) but this is ridiculous. Like a parody of the Gehry style. I suppose most of us end up parodies of our former selves.

Posted by: JV on December 9, 2009 5:19 PM

I know one should admire Bilbao and hate this Vegas thing...but I find it's the other way round. Bilbao is pompous, this thing has amusement park appeal. In a casino town, why not?

Posted by: Robert Townshend on December 10, 2009 3:38 AM

Really? Your joking...right. This is the most accomplished living architect of our time?

This building bodes well for my severn year old daughters drawings. She should save these. Seems like modern architecture is taking advantage of her inability to draw straight orderly lines.

Posted by: DeepThought on December 10, 2009 10:51 AM

Are they trying to cure brain diseases or induce them?

Posted by: CyndiF on December 10, 2009 2:19 PM

I hope those are either shatter-resistant windows, or that Vegas never, ever, gets big hail.

Posted by: rvman on December 11, 2009 11:32 AM

Speaking of shat, that building looks like a larger building ate it then crapped it out.

Posted by: Bhh on December 12, 2009 2:26 PM

There's a special place in Hell reserved for architects like Gehry, whose craptacular buildings will mar the landscape for decades to come.

Posted by: Jonathan on December 18, 2009 2:35 PM

When they finally implode that building, how will you know?

Posted by: Doug Sundseth on December 22, 2009 2:44 AM

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