architecture as muse
Gehry museum for the work of Frank Gehry Partners, LLP.
The museum, literally “a place for the muses,” has roots as far back as at least Noah’s Ark. Though not exactly the same as our contemporary understanding of museum, one can trace the collection of relics, curiosities, fragments, and other ephemera though the Middle Ages until the establishment of the Enlightenment public museum whose goals included not only display, but also education and the promotion of a national state. Even Noah, however, had to decide what to collect and how to organize such a collection. These two issues have more or less determined the nature of such repositories, from the relics (often duplicated) used to lure religious pilgrims, to the curiosities found in various wunderkamer and natural history museums throughout Europe, and even to our more contemporary collections of archeological artifacts, the visual arts, cultural ephemera, and most everything else that we choose to collect and display. A recent article in the New York Times brought up the issue of Frank Gehry’s archive. Gehry, arguably one of the best known and influential architects of late 20th c., has accumulated a rather large (20,000 sq. ft.) archive of architectural materials. Currently, the archive sits in storage awaiting a more appropriate home. Gehry, ever the businessman, is looking to sell the archive to the highest bidder. Understandably, the response from museums and other institutions has been tepid due to the cumbersome size and variety of the archive. In the worst-case scenario, the archive will be split up and sold piecemeal. This would return the most money to Gehry, but at the high cost of breaking up the archive. In the scenario of the studio, we are proposing that an enlightened patron (perhaps Peter B. Lewis or Brad Pitt?) has purchased the entire archive and has also donated seed money for a building campaign to be located in Venice, CA.

The studio begins with a relic; then a reliquary. Students then design a detail, a room, and, finally, a building.

Lee Karen Douglas: An(N)ecklace
Programmatically, this is not just a museum for Frank Gehry. This is an education and community center, a place for gathering, and a place to rest. It will tie together the bungalows that surround the site, provide a quiet place for locals, but also bring educational and creative opportunities for those interested in the work of Frank Gehry, or architecture in general. It is a gallery for aspiring Venice talent, who may not even be interested in Frank Gehry’s architecture. Frank Gehry is an artist, was inspired by artists, and his museum will provide a  creative environment to stimulate creative minds. This is a project confronting interaction. I will pursue this idea at large and small scales. There will be a conversation between structure and skin. There will be moments where they will argue, one will dominate, but ultimately a compromise is found. People will interact without speaking. This will happen through carefully placed obscurities and clarifications, where there is a mutual confusion and intrigue. Grand Avenue and Windward Avenue will no longer be separated by a fence, and will converse with one another through views and foot traffic. The museum will enhance the character of the beach bungalow, and continue the artist tradition that created Venice.
douglas David Lee: A Museum for Frank Gehry
This project begins with an imagined relic – the brush of legendary Fabio (a lock of his precious hair was not possible). From such auspicious beginning, a rather sober proposal is made as based on a study of the Museums of Mies van der Rohe and a series of moveable panel systems. Each study was intended to allow for a wide range of spatial manipulation so that Gehry’s work could be seen in a new way.