Sunday, September 07, 2003

Frank about Frank and Frank


Hello Aesthetically Astute Kari:

I have to come right out and admit to being mostly unaware of Frank Lloyd Wright's work. I know he was famous but that is it. A quick internet search lead me to Ken Burns' documentary on his life and work. I trust Burns has profiled FLW's most notable works?

Of that list, I have only seen the Guggenheim Museum of New York

Here is an interior shot I took back in late June, 2003



I have to say I was impressed by that structure though the exterior could use a paint job! Does that building leak?

I visited Phoenix a few years back and I heard about Taliesin West but didn't get the chance to visit his famed Southwestern outpost.

I did however have breakfast at the Biltmore which was a project Wright worked on and apparently there is some controversy over how much of it was his ideas and how much were his associates. Some back story and pictures of the hotel can be seen here and here.

I enjoyed walking around the grounds and thought it seemed pretty neat.

I've now exhausted all I know about FLW!!

It would seem Michael at blowhard is not a fan. And from the tone of your comments, you have mixed feelings about Wright's efforts? What do you think about the FLW works I've mentioned above?

In regards to your question (I now finally get around to it!), "Does architecture have to function well to be great?"

I would have to say, yes. Architecture, by its definition, has a utilitarian value and its aesthetic value in my mind is a bonus. Fail on one or the other, it can't be considered great. If my car is gorgeous but breaks down all the time, I'd hesistate to consider it a great car. It maybe a pretty car but it isn't a great car. I suppose as a scientist, I have a tendency toward a does it work pragmatism.

Continuing on the architecture theme: what do you think of Frank Gehry's work?

Here I am with my trusty tin can in front of the soon to open Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.



The banner art up top is the same photo tinkered with on Photoshop.

MOCA in LA is having an exhibit on Gehry to coincide with the October opening of Disney Hall.

I eagerly await your reflective response.

Take care,
Rene

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