Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gehry to 'carve into the ground' for Philadelphia museum project

Toronto-born architect Frank Gehry, famed for his sculptural exteriors and titanium fins, has been asked to design a museum that's completely underground.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced Thursday that it has commissioned Gehry to design a $500-million US expansion.

The new building will be nine metres below ground, underneath one wing of the historic museum.

Gail Harrity, who oversaw construction of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Gehry's most famous project, is now chief operating officer of the Philadelphia museum.

He asked if Gehry would be interested in designing the underground extension.

"I said, 'Yes. It would be great to try to make beautiful music with a building with no exterior,'" Gehry said.

"I love the idea of trying to carve into the ground."

Gehry said he envisions punching holes through the floors to create high vertical spaces.

The Philadelphia museum is one of the largest museums in the U.S. with a collection of 225,000 artifacts, including Asian, European and American works.

The existing Beaux Arts museum was built for Philadelphia's great Centennial Exposition of 1876.

The expansion plans call for adding 7,400 square metres of galleries to house large contemporary sculptures and special exhibits.

Museum director Anne d'Harnoncourt said Gehry was chosen ahead of 20 other architects for his skill in bringing natural light to interiors and creating display spaces.

Gehry, now based in Los Angeles, also designed the expansion of the Art Gallery of Ontario, which is under construction in Toronto.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Everyday romance

Every day we can hear lots of people talking about romance. They may be sharing their sophisticated ideas, spiced with the touching examples of the thing taken from books or life stories of other people. Surprisingly, when we are asked about romance, in most cases we will talk about anything but not what we have really experienced. We are eager to admire bunches of flowers presented to others, we tend to adore loud public proposals, we crave for irreal happenings shown in movies. Somehow we envy celebrities who are reported to waste millions to make a gift for their spouses and we easily believe any scene shown, any word retold which goes about “I – would – like – to – have – it – one – day” romance. We buy books to read about greatest love stories of the past centuries, we rush home from work to watch soap where actors are artificially smiling and kissing each other, we spill tears looking at the meaningless photos of just married in the glamorous magazines. And after that we come up to our spouses and give them a sort of “you’ll – never – be – able – to – do – a – thing – like – that – to – me!!!” reproach. Doing that we do not think about how happy we might be without all those diamonds, bunches of roses, limousines, public kisses and how happy we actually are just sitting wordlessly on Friday evening under the same plaid in the hugs of each other in front of TV which we are even not watching…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


These days I have been wondering why so few people read books. The psychologists say that within the frame of our cultural paradigm of postmodern and after-postmodern people are just battered with huge amounts of information which they are unable to digest. Time is getting more and more hastened, culture - more and more flipped, work – more and more straining, activities – more and more passive, people – more and more stressed and tired. Under these conditions most of people would prefer everything less demanding and less brainy. Deep and profound thinking is likely to be substituted for smattering, real feelings and experiences – for mawkish movies, live music – for synthesized remixes, just as well as healthy food is substituted for fast food. But all that could be good if it brought at least a little bit of a satisfaction, but unfortunately it doesn’t. We are facing the same problems, as out grandparents were 70 years ago. And the most amazing thing is that … Oh, I think I have to quit my meditations, because statistics calculated that modern people can only read a passage of no more than 150 words without getting bored. And I guess I have already exceeded that limit.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

first post

first post