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Guggenheim Museum Opening Day October 21, 1959
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Rood



Joined: 30 Oct 2010
Posts: 1009
Location: Goodyear, AZ 85338

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SDR wrote:
Wright's background building, c. 1951, seems to quote his 1897 Luxfer building -- "A type of facade now fashionable," he wrote in 1957.

It is too bad, as DRN suggests, that the "background" building was shoved so far forward, when finally built. And yes, we could do without the extraneous slits. But with the (almost) blank tartan grid, and the sandy color, it could be argued that Gwathmey et al were at least trying to speak Wright's language -- far more sympathetically than they did contra Rudolph, in New Haven ? SDR


It goes to show the danger of trying to "ape" Wright. Better something original was attempted, but, as you suggest, Gwathmey, et al were not up the the mark when trying to complement genius.

Blame whoever hired them. They should have known better. The Master's work was at their finger-tips, free for the taking, and they chose some pipsqueak's half-baked potato instead.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3604
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The alterations/restorations G-S made within the Rudolph building at Yale were sensitive, which is why I too was mystified at the dissonance of the addition. The addition tries to play Rudolph's heroic formal part with thin, lightweight, flat materials and forms....G-S brought sheet metal and veneer hoping to play with a true concrete canyon.

Brutalist buildings always win the fight. When working with a good one like this, I might have created a very static, ordered, grounded, and quiet building that upheld the balance of the streetwall and allowed the Rudolph building to be the focus. G-S would have done better if they looked across the street to the calm of Kahn for inspiration rather than trying to match the formal drama of Rudolph.
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3986
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guggenheim taken over by protesters.
http://gothamist.com/2014/02/23/guggenheim_labor_abu_dhabi.php
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 16396
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The master's work was at their fingertips . . ." (in re the Guggenheim tower addition). The only reference we have to Wright's design is one perspective view. As far as I know, there are no other drawings for such a building -- and (as DRN pointed out, above) the present tower's footprint isn't the result of the later architect's ineptitude but of the museum's failure to acquire the acreage necessary to build as Wright seems to suggest . . .

The recent demonstration at the museum seems to have been met not with tolerance (by the low-wage guard staff ?) but haste.

SDR
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3986
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Exhibit at the Guggenheim Is a Romper Room on Steroids

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116735/futurism-guggenheim-romper-room-steroids
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3604
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bringing this topic forward post outage. Keywords: Guggenheim Museum, 1959, original tan paint, annex, William Wesley Peters, Gwathmey Siegel
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3604
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While at a friend's house on Sunday, I flipped through a book published by the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation shortly after the NYC Museum's completion in 1959. I was unfamiliar with the book, and was struck by a photo taken from an angle I'd never seen before: standing on E. 89th Street looking southwest into the driveway and sculpture garden that was infilled with TAA/Wes Peters' 1968 Annex building. The photo captured a detail, which to my knowledge, is now permanently hidden with the 1968 Annex and its re-facing and further extrusion by Gwathmey Siegel in the 1990's.

I found it interesting to see Wright's use of the triangular stair tower form as a means to resolve the end (or start) of the ramp at its top with the balance of the composition. An interesting perspective was lost with the introduction of the Annex.


Looking SW from E. 89th Street toward the triangular stair tower.


TAA/Wes Peter's 1968 Annex which infilled the drive from E. 89th and the sculpture garden. Peters' annex was given a new fa├žade and its structure, originally designed for additional stories, was used as the base for Gwathmey Siegel's taller "tartan grid" annex.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
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Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the lot-line fence, with circular motif, Wright's work ? The contrast between circles and octagons of similar scale is interesting.

Are there any octagonal elements in Wright's building ? Is Wes's use of them intended to distinguish his alteration or addition from the original work ?

SDR
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3604
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rear lot line concrete fence with the circles shows up in the earliest photos of the completed building...the E.89th photo above includes it as does the view through the now closed in "drive-thru" approach in this article:
https://www.archdaily.com/874207/the-58-year-evolution-of-frank-lloyd-wrights-guggenheim-museum

I suppose the final construction drawings would be the ultimate indicator...did the fence show up on the final drawings or construction addenda prepared during Wright's lifetime?

Octagons are not present in Wright's building that I have seen. Despite the loss of the view to the acute angle of the stair landing, I like the Peters annex as a transition between the buildings behind the museum and the museum itself. The octagons, to my eye, are reminiscent of the porthole windows of Wright's building, but translated into the grid of Peters' addition which differentiates itself from the smooth surfaces of Wright's monolith. If one considers the copper fascia of the monitor with its lozenges set at 45 degree angles, the 45's of the octagons set up a visual dialogue which further unifies the composition.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8669

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only did Peters avoid circles, he also avoided hexagons, which are the underlying, generative geometry of the entire building, overlaid with circles. The two skylights are generations of hexagons, as is the structural system holding up the museum. (12, actually, but 6 of one....) A grid of circles complies more easily with the hexagon than the square.

Although it is labeled as a detail of the gate (unbuilt?), there is a drawing in Taschen 3, page 29, that shows the circular 'fence' against the brick wall of the neighboring building.

Considering that this 17-year-effort, in the then-largest city in the world, the "front office of the nation," on its most famous street, can reasonably be considered one of the 5 greatest works of FLW's career, there is remarkably little published about Guggenheim that reveals its inner workings. Taschen has 19 pages devoted to it, but most publications give scant coverage, focusing on the frosting, but never doing justice to the cake. This needs an exhaustive tome, beginning to end, top to bottom, all the way from commission to Gwathmey Siegel.
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