Friday, March 16, 2012

Great Architecture: The New World Symphony by Frank Gehry

I thought I would start doing a series on great architecture that I encounter in my daily life and travels. As an architectural photographer, I can't help myself but to make images of interetsing buildings and spaces that I run into, whether it be planned or just a random walk-by on a city street. My hope is that by making this a blog feature, it will inspire me to seek out new and amazing architecture rather than just waiting for it to find me.

So, I thought I'd start with something in my own 'backyard', the new New World Symphony Building on South Beach by Frank Gehry. Now Gehry is generally known for his dramatic facades, but the NWS is subtle on its approach. This is primarily due to the large flat exterior wall which is used to broadcast the symphony concerts (for free) for the large park leading up to the building. To me, this ingenious use of space and community outreach was a far better idea than any sort of funky facade could have provided, and in turn, exposing generations of young people to classical music. My bet is that some of those lawn-watchers are going to be buying tickets to sit in the hall one day.

The interior, however, is a full-on Gehry masterpiece. Sweeping curved walls bend, extend and end without seeming reason, yet one cannot deny that everything works harmoniously. As a visual interpreter of the space, it was almost overwhelming because every few feet you walk, you are greeted with an entirely different perspective. I was fortunate enough to have my cousin, who plays in the New World Symphony, give us a behind-the-scenes, all-access tour of the facility. I was a happy girl, indeed!