The Neuer Zollhoff is located in Dusseldorf, Germany and was completed in 1998. It consists of three separate buildings, each having its own unique shapes, colors, and designs. These buildings were built along the Rhine River and a lot of the strange shapes were a result of Gehry maximizing waterside windows. They are currently occupied by offices and warehouses, but they may begin transitioning into being residential soon. I like how Gehry gives each building its own character. It would be easy to design and build three identical buildings, but Gehry designs three separate and unique buildings. My favorite is probably the middle one because it is shiny and that appeals to me. If these ever do become residential like a hotel, I would definitely hope to visit and stay someday.
Maggie’s Center is located in Dundee, Scotland and was completed in 2003. There are several Maggie’s Centres scattered throughout England and they are dedicated to helping people that have been affected by cancer. I would say this building is one of the more laid back buildings that Gehry has designed, but it is still a nice building to look at. The roof features Gehry’s signature wavy, metallic style while the building itself has a lot of glass and looks relatively plain. The setting of the building is beautiful and relaxing so having a lot of glass makes being in the interior a great experience. The facility itself has a grand garden and the setting provides a positive aspect for people who are going through a difficult time.
The Jay Pritzker Pavilion in located in Chicago and was finished in 2004. It is home to many musical events and other forms of performing arts. It was named after Jay Pritzker, who founded the Pritzker prize in architecture along with his wife Cindy Pritzker. They had awarded Gehry in 1989 and Cindy really wanted Gehry to be involved in the architecture of the pavilion so this was a special task for Gehry. The pavilion consists of a theatre as well as a great lawn in order to sit spectators who come for the events. The building itself looks very abstract, with lots of curved and flowing metals.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall was finished in 2003 and is located in Los Angeles, California. Not surprisingly, the purpose of the building is to have concerts, but the acoustics of the building were much better than other concert halls previously in LA. The exterior of the building is glass and stainless steel and has many different curves and contrasts. The reflective properties of the exterior caused many complaints resulting in the exterior being sanded and dulled. It is a really cool building to look at in my opinion and hopefully I will be able to visit it at some point in my life.
The Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum is located in Seattle, Washington. It has many different musical events and festivals as wells and conferences and programs for the public. It is a large building containing many different exhibits and galleries. In addition to music, the Science Fiction Museum was added on to the museum later on. The building’s exterior features three distinct parts that have their own colors, flows, and shine. Another thing that makes this building special is that the Seattle Center Monorail runs through the building. Gehry compared the building to a smashed guitar with all of the different things going on with the building. It is definitely a unique building and I hope to be able to visit it someday.
Beekman Tower is located in New York City. Just like every other Frank Gehry building, this skyscraper is no exception in greatly contrasting itself from the other buildings around it. Most of the skyscrapers and buildings around it are made up of brick and stone while the Beekman Tower has a lot of glass and metal making it shine in the New York skyline. The exterior looks like the building is a liquid, rippling from the wind so it is definitely different. It was finished in 2010 and has 76 stories. It is basically its own community within a building. The building contains residential areas, a public elementary school, a hospital, as well as public space.
I attended Jenks High School from 2009-2013 and over the course of my time there it changed a lot. The campus is huge and is almost like a college campus with several buildings spread out. There a lot of old, ugly buildings, but they built several new buildings that are much more pleasing to the eye. Among the new buildings is the Math and Science Center, finished in 2011. The look of the building is really modern, with lots of glass and a planetarium at the top. They also designed the building to be more like our school colors with the maroon brick, and maroon, white, and gray painted building materials. That was opposed to the yellow-ish colored bricks and turquoise painted roofs on the other buildings. The classrooms were really nice because they actually had windows, unlike the classrooms in other buildings that either didn’t or were blocked by bushes. The ceilings were open also so the classrooms had a bigger feel than they actually were. The floor plans also allowed for the building to have a very open feel with a large entryway and wide hallways. A lot of students chose to take harder maths and sciences in order to get to have a class in the building, and I was one of them. This building was by far my favorite on campus and I looked forward to my classes that were in that building.
St. Peter’s Square is located in Vatican City. All of Vatican City is really cool, but the coolest place to me was St. Peter’s Square. I visited when Pope Francis had just been elected as the new Pope so it was really busy. One thing I was impressed by was the hundreds of columns making up the colonnades surrounding the square. On top of the colonnades, were detailed statues of Saints of Rome. At the center of the square was a tall Egyptian obelisk with a cross on the top. In addition to the obelisk, was the beautiful church, St. Peter’s Basilica. Part of the church was being repaired when I visited so I did not get to see all of it, but what I did see was amazing. Like many of old Roman building, the exterior was intricately designed with carvings and columns. The outside, however, could not even compare to what was inside. The amount of time and dedication put into every detail on the inside was astounding. All I can say is if you ever get a chance to visit, definitely do that.
The Santa Maria della Salute is a Roman Catholic church that is located in Venice, Italy. I was fortunate enough to get to visit Venice my senior year of high school and took a boat tour. Venice is interesting because the whole city is partially under water so it has river streets. Architects and building designers have to take this into account when constructing their buildings. I saw a lot of cool buildings and bridges on the tour, but this one really stood out to me. What originally stood out to me was the dome that I was able to see from a pretty far distance. As we got closer, and eventually passed by, I was able to see all the intricate statues and carvings. The church is in the shape of an octagon with a staircase wrapping around it. Unfortunately, I was unable to get out and go see the interior, but the exterior was impressive enough for this building to stand out on my trip to Europe.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is a castle that I visited about 3 years ago. It was designed and built from 1869 to 1892 in Germany. The castle itself is beautiful, but the setting in the German Alps is just as beautiful. Unlike many castles which were built for strategic defensive purposes, the Neuschwanstein was built for the leisure of Ludwig II of Bavaria. Unfortunately Ludwig was a bit too ambitious and ran out of funds before the castle was finished to the design, but what had already been done was still extravagant. The architecture style used was Romanesque Revival and it looks like what I imagined castles looked like as a kid. Walking up a winding path to get there, I got many different views of the castle. It was very cold/snowy and, unfortunately, castles don’t have air conditioning. I am willing to bet Ludwig waited until the summertime to make his visits up to the castle. I really liked the design of all of the buildings that made up the castle. The front entrance seemed different from the rest of the buildings because of the orange bricks used, but after walking through the gate, there was a courtyard and everything seemed to transition together well.