Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Frank Gehry on West Street
New York Times: Mr. Gehry’s structure, the most fanciful of these, looks best when approached from a distance. Glimpsed between Chelsea’s weathered brick buildings, its strangely chiseled forms reflect the surrounding sky, so that its surfaces can seem to be dissolving. As you circle to the north, however, its forms become more symmetrical and sharp-edged, evoking rows of overlapping sails or knifelike pleats. Viewed from the south, the forms appear more blocky. This constantly changing character imbues the building’s exterior with an enigmatic beauty. And it reflects Mr. Gehry’s subtle understanding of context. Rather than parodying the architectural style of the surrounding buildings, he plays against them, drawing them into a bigger urban composition. The sail-like curves of the west facade seem to be braced against the roar of the passing cars. The blockier forms in back lock the composition into the lower brick buildings that extend to the east.