Of all the architects who inspire me, Frank Gehry is definitely one of the first on the list.
On a recent trip to Manhattan, I noticed that he’s made quite the name for himself with two new buildings: the Beekman Tower, completed in May 2011, and the IAC Building in 2007. Among the urban density of Manhattan, these two buildings stand out from the others by their light-reflecting materials, their elegance and their unique Gehry style.
The densely packed skyscrapers and other buildings in the city create an overwhelming atmosphere that prevents sunlight from fully penetrating the urban landscape. Therefore, the biggest challenge for architects today in NYC is to build skyscrapers with exterior finishes that reflect light, both day and night. Gehry has managed to do this admirably!
Beekman Tower, which was just completed, is a 76-floor luxury residential tower located between the Brooklyn Bridge and Ground Zero. Its primary material is stainless steel—a reflective material. The IAC Building is completely different from the Beekman Tower, with only 10 stories; it is an office tower located at 11th Ave. in the Chelsea borough on the banks of the Hudson River. Its exterior is made completely of curtain walls with sections of white fired ceramic that give the illusion that the walls change colour with the changing light of day. I have never seen anything like it!
Although all of Gehry’s buildings are distinct, you can always recognize them by their inspiring articulated facades. It is encouraging to see these types of buildings, that are at once modern and nature-inspired, springing up more and more across northern North America, something that gives me great hope for the future of my profession as an architect!
If this article has piqued your curiosity, see the links below for some real eye candy:
www.newyorkbygehry.com; Beekman Tower www.iachq.com; IAC building