It's OK, Frank Gehry—even you can’t get them all. A performing arts commission at Ground Zero has been taken away from the famous architect, even though he had already drafted some preliminary designs. Ouch! On the brighter side, Gehry can console himself by celebrating the opening of his colorful Panama Biomuseo. You win some, you lose some.
A New York Times article on the Ground Zero performance arts center indicated that Gehry's proposals needed revisions. Even president of the center Maggie Boepple—a self-proclaimed Gehry fan—agreed. “So many mistakes are made when genius architects design a building and that comes before the workhorse of the building," she admitted. "It’s not a comment on Gehry as an architect. It’s a different skill set.” Apparently Andy Hayles, the managing partner of Charcoalblue, has that very skill set, as he has now working of the theater’s design.
Charcoalblue's concept for the performing arts center at ground zero. Image via NYT by Charcoalblue.
Asked to comment, Gehry said that communication about the project was just “radio silence… I don’t know what their priorities are. They haven’t talked to me, so I don’t know.”
Clearly the man is keeping busy, though—especially with the upcoming grand opening of the Panama Biomuseo. The architect’s first project in Latin America, this natural history museum, located at the entrance of the Panama Canal, tells the story of the flora and fauna of the region. Featuring a temporary gallery space, public atrium, museum shop, and cafe, the museum also includes eight permanent exhibition galleries designed by Bruce Mau and a botanical garden designed by Edwina Von Gal.
Photos of the Biomuseo by © victoria murillo / istmophoto.com via designboom.
Exhibiting Gehry's signature fragmented aesthetic, Panama Biomuseo is formed by using leaves of metal that sprout from concrete columns—a tricky design that has taken 10 years to build. Perhaps scary numbers like that had something to do with the performing center’s decision to steer clear...
Hero image via acec.