Frank Gehry

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Posted by bender 04/27/2009 @ 16:09

Tags : frank gehry, architects, architecture, fine arts

News headlines
Frank Gehry gets more love from 'The Simpsons' - Los Angeles Times
This isn't the first time that Gehry's work has been featured on "The Simpsons." The architect guest-starred on the Fox animated show in 2005. In that episode, Marge convinces the Springfield Cultural Activities Board to fund a concert hall designed by...
By Barbara Isenberg Frank Gehry, the most acclaimed American architect since Wright, is not a natural-born writer. To satisfy the considerable demand for personal explications of his work, Gehry, who turned 80 in February, has avoided the agony of...
A Weekend in Toronto - New York Times
Last November, the Art Gallery of Ontario reopened with a bold and masterful renovation by the famed architect Frank Gehry, who grew up just blocks from the 109-year-old museum. Mr. Gehry added a spiraling wood staircase that pierces through the glass...
Conversations with Frank Gehry by Barbara Isenberg - Houston Chronicle
My hopes, I'll admit, were not especially high for Conversations with Frank Gehry, Barbara Isenberg's collection of recent interviews with the architect. Particularly in public, Gehry can be reticent, even uncomfortable, when discussing the ideas...
Ohr offers brick with membership - (registration)
The drive is designed to forge a sense of ownership with the new museum, which is designed by Frank Gehry and scheduled to open three of its five buildings in early 2011. The museum preserves and promotes the legacy of the self-proclaimed “Mad Potter...
Folowup Thoughts On Pauley Renovation Plan Annoucement - Bruins Nation
Frank Gehry, who designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall, knew Bergman from the gym where they both worked out and agreed to take a look. He subsequently contacted UC officials, saying he thought UCLA had "slipped away" from addressing the arena's most...
Nets Brooklyn arena plan clears legal hurdle -
Nets owner and developer Bruce Ratner plans to begin building his $4 billion Atlantic Yards project this fall, after an appeals court rejected an opponents lawsuit. The Frank Gehry-designed project has been controversial from its inception,...
Renzo Piano Embraces Chicago - New York Times
Millennium Park, its far end punctuated by the swirling steel forms of Frank Gehry's band shell, extends to the north. Seen from the park Mr. Piano's structure immediately brings to mind the work of Mies van der Rohe, a pillar of modern architecture...
Wine and Architecture - Vinography
From Catena Zapata in Argentina (shown in the photo above) to the brand new HALL winery designed by Frank Gehry that is currently under construction in Napa, wine tasting in certain places has become as much an architectural experience as an...

Frank Gehry

Portrait of Frank Gehry.jpg

Frank Owen Gehry, CC (born Ephraim Owen Goldberg, February 28, 1929) is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect based in Los Angeles.

His buildings, including his private residence, have become tourist attractions. Many museums, companies, and cities seek Gehry's services as a badge of distinction, beyond the product he delivers.

His best-known works include the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, Experience Music Project in Seattle, Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Dancing House in Prague, Czech Republic and the MARTa Museum in Herford, Germany. However, it was his private residence in Santa Monica, California, which jump-started his career, lifting it from the status of "paper architecture," a phenomenon that many famous architects have experienced in their formative decades through experimentation almost exclusively on paper before receiving their first major commission in later years.

In 1947 Gehry moved to California, got a job driving a delivery truck, and studied at Los Angeles City College, eventually to graduate from the University of Southern California's School of Architecture. After graduation from USC in 1954, he spent time away from the field of architecture in numerous other jobs, including service in the United States Army. He studied city planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for a year, leaving before completing the program. In 1952, still known as Frank Goldberg, he married Anita Snyder, who he claims was the one who told him to change his name, which he did, to Frank Gehry. In 1966 he divorced Snyder. In 1975 he married Berta Isabel Aguilera, his current wife. He has two daughters from his first marriage, and two sons from his second marriage.

Having grown up in Canada, Gehry is a huge fan of hockey. He began a hockey league in his office, FOG (which stands for Frank Owen Gehry), though he no longer plays with them. In 2004, he designed the trophy for the World Cup of Hockey. He saw the psychoanalyst Milton Wexler and allowed Wexler to give comments to the press about him. Gehry holds dual citizenship in the United States and Canada. He lives in Santa Monica, California, and continues to practice out of Los Angeles.

DeCon is often referred to as post-structuralist in nature for its ability to go beyond current modalities of structural definition. In architecture, its application tends to depart from modernism in its inherent criticism of culturally inherited givens such as societal goals and functional necessity. Because of this, unlike early modernist structures, DeCon structures are not required to reflect specific social or universal ideas, such as speed or universality of form, and they do not reflect a belief that form follows function. Gehry's own Santa Monica residence is a commonly cited example of deconstructivist architecture, as it was so drastically divorced from its original context, and, in such a manner, as to subvert its original spatial intention.

Gehry is sometimes associated with what is known as the "Los Angeles School," or the "Santa Monica School" of architecture. The appropriateness of this designation and the existence of such a school, however, remains controversial due to the lack of a unifying philosophy or theory. This designation stems from the Los Angeles area's producing a group of the most influential postmodern architects, including such notable Gehry contemporaries as Eric Owen Moss and Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne of Morphosis, as well as the famous schools of architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (co-founded by Thom Mayne), UCLA, and the USC.

Gehry’s style at times seems unfinished or even crude, but his work is consistent with the California ‘funk’ art movement in the 1960s and early 1970s, which featured the use of inexpensive found objects and non-traditional media such as clay to make serious art. Gehry has been called ‘the apostle of chain-link fencing and corrugated metal siding‘ (B. Adams). However, a retrospective exhibit at the Whitney Museum (New York) in 1988 revealed that he is also a sophisticated classical artist, who knows European art history and contemporary sculpture and painting.

Gehry has been described as "the one-trick pony" and an "auto-plagiarist", referring to the similarity in style nearly all of his buildings share.

Gehry was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (A.I.A.) in 1974, and he has received many national, regional, and local A.I.A. awards, including A.I.A. Los Angeles Chapter Gold Medal. He presently serves on the steering committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.Frank Gehry was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize at the Todaiji Buddhist Temple in 1989. The Pritzker Prize serves to honor a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision, and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.

Gehry is a Distinguished Professor of Architecture at Columbia University and also teaches at the Yale School of Architecture. He has received honorary doctoral degrees from the California College of Arts and Crafts, the Technical University of Nova Scotia, the Rhode Island School of Design, the California Institute of Arts, and the Otis Art Institute at the Parsons School of Design.In 1982 and 1989, he held the Charlotte Davenport Professorship in Architecture at Yale University. In 1984, he held the Eliot Noyes Chair at Harvard University.

Gehry has gained a reputation for taking the budgets of his clients seriously. Complex and innovative designs like Gehry's typically go over budget. Sydney Opera House, which has been compared with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in terms of architectural innovation, had a cost overrun of 1,400 percent. It was therefore duly noted when the Guggenheim Bilbao was constructed on time and budget. In an interview in Harvard Design Magazine Gehry explained how he did it. First, he ensured that what he calls the "organization of the artist" prevailed during construction, in order to prevent political and business interests from interfering with the design. Second, he made sure he had a detailed and realistic cost estimate before proceeding. Third, he used CATIA (Computer-Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) and close collaboration with the individual building trades to control costs during construction.

In 2005, veteran film director Sydney Pollack, a friend of Gehry's, made the documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry with appreciative comments by Philip Johnson, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, and Dennis Hopper, and critical ones by Hal Foster supplementing dialogue between Gehry and Pollack about their work in two collaborative art forms with considerable commercial constraints and photography of some buildings Gehry designed. It was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on August 22, 2006, together with an interview of Sydney Pollack by fellow director Alexander Payne and some audience questions following the premiere of the film.

Standing Glass Fish is just one of many works featuring fish which Gehry has created. The gigantic fish is made of glass plates and silicone, with the internal supporting structure of wood and steel clearly visible. It soars above a reflecting pool in a glass building built especially for it, in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Another huge Gehry fish sculpture dominates a public garden in front of the Fishdance Restaurant in Kobe, Japan.

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Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, along the Nervión River in downtown Bilbao, with the Maman, a huge spider by Louise Bourgeois

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a modern and contemporary art museum designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, built by Ferrovial and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. It is built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Atlantic Coast. The Guggenheim is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The museum features both permanent and visiting exhibits featuring works of both Spanish and international artists.

The curves on the building have been designed to appear random. The architect has been quoted as saying that "the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light". Designed by Canadian/American architect Frank Gehry and opened to the public in 1997, it was immediately vaulted to prominence as one of the world's most spectacular buildings in the style of Deconstructivism, although Frank Gehry does not associate himself with this architectural movement. Architect Philip Johnson called it "the greatest building of our time".

The museum's design and construction serve as an object lesson in Gehry's style and method. Like much of Gehry's other works, the structure consists of radically sculpted, organic contours. Sited as it is in a port town, it is intended to resemble a ship. Its brilliantly reflective titanium panels resemble fish scales, echoing the other organic life (and, in particular, fish-like) forms that recur commonly in Gehry's designs, as well as the river Nervión upon which the museum sits. Also in typical Gehry fashion, the building is uniquely a product of the period's technology. Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) and visualizations were used heavily in the structure's design.

Computer simulations of the building's structure made it feasible to build shapes that architects of earlier eras would have found nearly impossible to construct. It is also important to note that while the museum is a spectacular monument from the river, at street level it is quite modest and does not overwhelm its traditional surroundings. The museum was opened as part of a revitalization effort for the city of Bilbao and for the Basque Country. Almost immediately after its opening, the Guggenheim Bilbao became a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the globe. It was widely credited with "putting Bilbao on the map" and subsequently inspired other structures of similar design across the globe, such as the Cerritos Millennium Library in Cerritos, California.

The building was constructed on time and budget, which is rare for architecture of this type. In an interview in Harvard Design Magazine Gehry explained how he did it. First, he ensured that what he calls the "organization of the artist" prevailed during construction, in order to prevent political and business interests from interfering with the design. Second, he made sure he had a detailed and realistic cost estimate before proceeding. Third, he used CATIA and close collaboration with the individual building trades to control costs during construction.

The exhibitions in the museum itself change often, the museum hosts thematic exhibitions, centered for example on Chinese or Russian art.

The museum's permanent collection concerns 20th century art—traditional paintings and sculptures are a minority compared to installations and electronic forms. The highlight of the collection, and its only permanent exhibit, is The Matter of Time, a series of weathering steel sculptures designed by Richard Serra and housed in the 430-foot (130 m) Arcelor Gallery (formerly known as the Fish Gallery but renamed in 2005 for the steel manufacturer that sponsored the project). The collections usually highlight Avant-garde art, 20th century abstraction, and non-objective art.

There is a tramway stop called Guggenheim 100 meters away from the museum. Line 18 of the bus system also has a nearby stop. The museum is located 500 meters north of Moyúa station on the Bilbao Metro.

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Millennium Park

Millennium Park as seen from the Aon Center (from the north)

Millennium Park is a public park located in the Chicago Loop community area of Chicago within Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is a prominent civic center of the City of Chicago's Lake Michigan lakefront. In 2004, a 24.5-acre (99,000 m2) section of northern Grant Park, previously occupied by Illinois Central railyards and parking lots, was built over and redeveloped as Millennium Park. The park hosts a variety of public art in an area is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive.

Planning began in October 1997, construction began in October 1998 and was completed in July 2004. Millennium Park, which has become the world's largest rooftop garden, was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004 as part of a three-day celebration that included an inaugural concert by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. 300,000 people took part in the grand opening festivities. The park's design and construction won awards ranging from accessibility to green design. Since then, Millennium Park has become a major tourist destination for Chicago. Admission to the park is free. The park features the Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Garden and other attractions. The park is connected by bridges to other parts of Grant Park (BP Pedestrian Bridge, Nichols Bridgeway).

The park is considered to be the city's most important project since the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, and it far exceeded its originally proposed budget of $150 million. The final cost of $475 million was borne both by Chicago taxpayers and private donors. The city paid a total of $270 million and private donors paid the remainder. Private donors assumed roughly half of the financial responsibility for the cost overruns.

The park was four years behind schedule and cost approximately three times as much as was initially budgeted. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at first placed much of the blame for the delay and cost overrun on Frank Gehry, who designed several parts of the park. Some of the features have changed names due to corporate mergers and acquisitions of Bank One with Chase and SBC Communications with AT&T. Today, Millennium Park trails only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction.

From 1852 until 1997, the Illinois Central Railroad, owned the right of way that they used for railroad tracks that separated the downtown Chicago from Lake Michigan. Briefly, in 1871, (because of the Great Chicago Fire) the Chicago White Stockings played home games at this location in what was then Union Base-Ball Grounds. From 1878-1884, the location hosted the team in both Lake Front Park I and Lake Front Park II, which had a short right field due to the railroad tracks. During that Illinois Central Railroad years, the railroad property was forbidden fruit and Grant Park was planned around it by Daniel Burnham in his 1909 Plan of Chicago. In 1997, when the city gained control of the land in the form of airspace rights, it decided to build a parking facility there. Eventually the city realized that a grand civic amenity might lure private dollars that a municipal improvement would not and thus began the effort to create Millennium Park. The park was originally planned under the name Lakefront Millennium Park.

The park was originally conceived as a 16-acre (65,000 m2) landscape-covered bridge over an underground parking structure to be built atop the Metra/Illinois Central Railroad tracks in Grant Park. Originally the park was to be designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, but gradually additional architects and artists were incorporated into the plan such as Frank Gehry and Thomas Beeby. In February 1999, the city announced it was negotiating with Frank Gehry to design a proscenium arch and orchestra enclosure for a band shell as well as a pedestrian bridge crossing Columbus Drive and that it was seeking donors to cover his work. At the time, the Chicago Tribune dubbed Gehry "the hottest architect in the universe" in reference to the acclaim for his Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and they noted the designs would not include Mayor Daley trademarks such as wrought iron and seasonal flower boxes. Millennium Park, project manager Edward Uhlir said "Frank is just the cutting edge of the next century of architecture," and noted that no other architect was being sought. Gehry was approached several times by Skidmore architect Adrian Smith on behalf of the city. His hesitance and refusal to accept the commission was overcome by Cindy Pritzker, the philanthropist, who had developed a relationship with the architect when he won the Pritzker Prize in 1991. She enticed him in head on confrontations with a $15m funding commitment toward the bandshell's creation, according to John H. Bryan. The choice of Gehry was a key component of having modern themes in the park.

The initial construction of the park was under the auspices of the Transportation department because the project bridges the railroad tracks. However, as the project grew and expanded, its broad variety of amenities placed it under the jurisdiction of the city's Public Buildings Commission.

In April 1999, the city announced that the Pritzker family had donated $15 million to fund Gehry's Bandshell and an additional nine donors committed a total of $10 million. The day of this announcement, Gehry agreed to the design request. In November, when his design was unveiled, Gehry said the Bridge was very preliminary and not well-conceived because funding for it was not committed. The need to fund a bridge to span the eight-lane Columbus Drive was evident, but some planning for the park was delayed in anticipation of details on the redesign of Soldier Field. In January 2000, the city announced plans to expand the park to include features that have become Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, The McDonalds Cycle Center, and BP Pedestrian Bridge. Later that month, Gehry unveiled his first design for the bridge, which included a winding bridge.

Some sources say that the park was the outgrowth of the exuberance of private sponsors, and others say that Mayor Daley used his power to garner corporate supporters. One Time magazine writer describes the park as the crowning achievement for Mayor Daley, while another suggests the park's cost and time overages were examples of the city's mismanagement. The July 16-18 opening gala was sponsored by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

The community surrounding Millennium Park has become one of the most fashionable residential addresses in the city. In 2006, Forbes named 60602 as the hottest zip code in the country in terms of price appreciation, with upscale buildings such as The Heritage at Millennium Park (130 N. Garland) leading the way for other buildings such as Waterview Tower, The Legacy and Joffrey Tower. The median sale price for residential real estate was $710,000 in 2005 according to Forbes, ranking it on the list of most expensive zip codes. The park has been credited with increasing residential real estate values by $100/square foot.

Millennium Park is a portion of the larger Grant Park, the "front lawn" of downtown Chicago. Millennium park itself is one of the larger public parks in metropolitan Chicago, and is a showcase for postmodern architecture. It features the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink, Peristyle at Wrigley Square, Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, AT&T Plaza, Chase Promenade and Trees in Millennium Park. The park is successful as a public art venue in part due to the grand scale of each piece and the open spaces for display. There are four major artistic highlights: Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Millennium Park is often considered the largest roof garden in the world, having been constructed on top of a railroad yard and large parking garages. Of its total 24.5 acres (99,000 m2) of land, Millennium Park contains 12.04 acres (48,700 m2) of permeable area. The park has a very rigorous cleaning schedule with many areas being swept, wiped down or cleaned multiple times a day. The park is known for being user friendly. Although the park was unveiled in July 2004, upgrades continued for some time afterwards. In addition to the cultural features above ground that are described below the park has its own 2218-space parking garage.

The principal signature of Millennium Park is the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a bandshell designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry with 4,000 fixed seats plus additional lawn seating for 7,000. A Pritzker Architecture Prize honoree and National Medal of Arts winner, Gehry designed such landmarks as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Der Neue Zollhof in Düsseldorf and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Characteristic of Gehry, the Pritzker Pavilion consists of curving planes of stainless steel resembling the graceful blooming of a flower or the unfurling sails of a massive ship.

The Pritzker Pavilion is the home of the Grant Park Music Festival, the nation's only remaining free, municipally-supported, outdoor, classical music series. The Festival is presented by the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. Winding eastward from Pritzker Pavilion is the only bridge in the world designed by Frank Gehry. The 925-foot (282 m) pedestrian bridge, clad in the same type of steel sheet as the bandshell with a hardwood deck, winds like a fluttering ribbon across nearby Columbus Drive from the bandshell to a section of Grant Park along the lakefront.

AT&T Plaza was originally named Ameritech Plaza for Ameritech Corporation, the corporate sponsor. By the time the park officially opened in 2004, Ameritech had merged with SBC Communications and the plaza was called SBC Plaza. When SBC acquired AT&T and subsequently changed the name from SBC to AT&T in 2005, the name of the plaza changed again.

The plaza is home to Cloud Gate, a three-story, 110-ton steel sculpture that has been dubbed by residents as "The Bean". The sculpture is the work of world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor and is the first of his public art in the United States. The piece was privately funded and the total cost was $23 million, which was considerably more than the original estimate of $6 million. The piece is wildly popular.

Cloud Gate is a highly-polished reflective steel sculpture that is meant to resemble a drop of mercury hovering at the point of landing on a plaza of the park. When Millennium Park opened in 2004, the grid of welds around each metal panel was still visible. In early 2005, workers polished out the seams. The curved, mirror-like surface of the sculpture provides striking reflections of visitors, the city skyline (particularly the historic Michigan Avenue "Streetwall") and the sky. Since its installation, Cloud Gate has probably become the most popular sculpture in the city.

Crown Fountain, named in honor of Chicago's Crown family, was designed by Catalan conceptual artist Jaume Plensa, and is the first of its kind in the world. Transparent glass block bricks are used to build two 50-foot (15 m) towers standing at either end of a long, black granite plaza submerged under an eighth of an inch layer of water. Behind the glass bricks are high-tech LED video screens. When the screens are illuminated they show the faces of nearly a thousand individual Chicagoans, which showcases the vast diversity of the city. Playing on the theme of historical fountains based around gargoyles with water coming through the open mouth of the creature, each video includes specific moments where the person purses his or her lips and water spouts from a point in the display, such that it appears as if the person is spitting the water out. This happens roughly every five minutes, and there is also a continuous stream of water that cascades over the images.

Lurie Garden is a 2.5-acre (10,000 m2) public garden located at the southern end of Millennium Park designed by Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel. The garden is a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses, shrubs and trees. It is the featured nature component of the world's largest green roof. The garden cost $13.2 million and has a $10 million endowment for maintenance and upkeep. It was named after Ann Lurie. The garden is a tribute to the city whose motto is "Urbs in Horto," which is a Latin phrase meaning City in a Garden.

BP Pedestrian Bridge is a pedestrian bridge crossing Columbus Drive that connects Millennium Park to Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park. The girder bridge is the first bridge designed by Pritzker Prize-winner, Frank Gehry, and was named for British Petroleum who donated $5 million to the construction of the Park. The bridge is referred to as snakelike or serpentine in character due to its curving form. The bridge's design enables it to bear a heavy load and is known for its aesthetics. Additionally, it serves acoustic needs as a sound barrier and functional needs as a connecting link between Millennium Park and points east.

McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink is a multi-purpose venue located along the western edge of Millennium Park in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District. It was the first attraction in Millennium Park to open. The plaza was funded by a donation from the McCormick Tribune Foundation. For four months a year, it operates as McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, a free public outdoor ice skating rink. It is generally open for skating from mid-November until mid-March. It is known as one of Chicago's better outdoor people watching locations during the winter months. For the rest of the year, it serves as Plaza at Park Grill or Park Grill Plaza, Chicago's largest outdoor dining facility. The park grill hosts various culinary events as well as music during its months of outdoor operation.

Wrigley Square is a public square located in the northwest section of Millennium Park in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District. It contains the Millennium Monument, a nearly full-sized replica of the semicircle of paired Greek Doric-style columns (called a peristyle) that originally sat in this area of Grant Park, near East Randolph Street and North Michigan Avenue, between 1917 and 1953. The square also contains a large lawn and a public fountain.

Harris Theater is a 1525-seat theater for the performing arts located along the northern edge of Millennium Park. It is the city's premier performance venue for small and medium sized performance groups. It is the first new performing arts venue built in the city's theater district or downtown since 1929. The theater was named for its primary benefactors, Mr & Mrs. Irving Harris.

The Exelon Pavilions are a set of four solar energy generating structures in Millennium Park. The pavilions provide sufficient energy to power the equivalent of 14 star-rated energy-efficient houses in Chicago. The Pavilions were designed in January 2001 and construction began in January 2004. The South Pavilions were completed and opened in July 2004 and the North Pavilions were completed in November 2004, with a grand opening on April 30, 2005. In addition to producing energy, three of the four pavilions provide access to the park's below ground parking garages and the fourth serves as the park's welcoming center. Exelon and its subsidiary ComEd donated $5.5 million for the Pavilions.

McDonald's Cycle Center is a 300-space heated/air conditioned indoor bicycle parking facility located in the northeast corner of Millennium Park. The facility provides lockers, showers, a snack bar with outdoor summer seating, bike repair, bike rental and other amenities for downtown bicycle commuters. The Bike Station also accommodates runners and in-line skaters. In addition, the station provides space for a Chicago Police Department Bike Patrol Group.

Boeing Galleries are a pair of outdoor exhibition spaces within Millennium Park located along the south and north mid-level terraces, above and east of Wrigley Square and the Crown Fountain.

Chase Promenade is an open-air tree-lined pedestrian walkway in Millennium Park. The Promenade was made possible by a gift from the Bank One Foundation. Its 8 acres (32,000 m2) accommodate exhibitions, festivals and other family events. It also serves as a venue for event planning on a rental basis.

In addition to the above features the park sits atop a dedicated parking garage with 2181 parking spaces.

In 2009, Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel will each commemorate the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago by designing a pavilion in Millennium Park. The pavilions will be temporary structures.

The project was known for its notorious delays (it was originally intended to open in 2000 instead of 2004) and tripled costs. Some Chicagoans began to refer to the project deridingly as "next-millennium" park.

During development and construction of the park, many structures were added, redesigned or modified. These changes often resulted in budget increases. For example, the band shell's proposed budget was $10.8 million. When the elaborate, cantilevered Gehry design required extra piling be driven into the bedrock to support the added weight, the cost of the band shell eventually spiraled to $60.3 million. The total cost of the park, as itemized in the following table, amounted to almost $500 million. Much of the fundraising was borne by local business leaders, including the Pritzker family and Crown family.

The Millennium Park project has been the subject of some criticism since its inception. In addition to concerns about the cost overrun, individuals and organizations have complained that the money spent on the park might have gone to other worthy causes, specifically citing ongoing issues with poverty in Chicago and problems within the city's schools. However, others believe that Chicago's potential to become a new type of metropolitan Olympic city could boost investment and help to fund more long term social and educational causes.

Grant Park has been protected since 1836 by "forever open, clear and free" legislation that has been affirmed by four previous Illinois Supreme Court rulings. Aaron Montgomery Ward twice sued the city of Chicago to force it to remove buildings and structures from Grant Park and to keep it from building new ones. As a result, the city has what are termed the Montgomery Ward height restrictions on buildings and structures in Grant Park. However, Crown Fountain and the 139-foot (42 m) Pritzker Pavilion were exempt from the height restriction because they were classified as works of art and not buildings or structures. Some say the Pavilion is described as a work of art to dodge the protections established by Ward who is said to continue to rule and protect Grant Park from his grave. This is why Harris Theater is largely underground.

Although the park's design and architectural elements have won wide praise, there has been some criticism of its aesthetics. Other criticism has revolved around the larger issue of corruption and political favoritism in the city; for example a July 2004 New York Times article reported that an inflated contract for park cleanup had gone to a company that made large contributions to Mayor Daley's election campaign. Concerns have also been raised over the use of mixed taxpayer and corporate funding and associated naming rights for sections of the park. While a large monument in the northwest corner of the park honors the many private and corporate donors who contributed to its construction, entire squares and plazas within the park are named for their corporate underwriters, with the sponsors' names prominently indicated with stone markers (Boeing Gallery, Exelon Pavilion, AT&T Plaza, Wrigley Square); some critics have deemed this to be inappropriate for a public space.

A controversy arose when the park enforced a requirement for professional photographers to obtain a paid permit to photograph the artwork in the park for commercial purposes. In doing so, the city cited the copyrights of the artists who created the works (particularly the popular Cloud Gate sculpture). The copyrights give the artists sole right to profit from their work, and thus applies to images taken for commercial purposes. However, enforcement of the permit requirement was inconsistent and sometimes heavy-handed, resulting in some non-commercial photographers and tourists being accosted while taking pictures of the sculpture, and leading to the incorrect public perception that they are banned from taking pictures of the park they helped pay for.

The park curfew (the park is closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily) and obvious presence of security guards is also cited in some quarters as working against the idea of a public park. For example, during the dusk to dawn event Looptopia on May 11 and May 12, 2007, public access to the park was prevented by police enforcement of the park curfew.

In both 2005 and 2006, almost the entire Millennium Park was closed for a day for corporate events. This was controversial for both commuters who walk through the park and for tourists who were lured by the attractions of the public park. On September 8, 2005, Toyota Motor Sales USA paid $800,000 to rent all venues in the park except Wrigley Square, Lurie Garden, McDonald's Cycle Center and Crown Fountain from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The money was used to both fund free events in the park such as concerts and for day-to-day operations. The events included the Lurie Garden Festival, a Steppenwolf Theater production, musical performers along the Chase Promenade all summer long, a jazz series, children's concerts and other free events. Toyota, as a sponsor, also had its name included on Millennium Park brochures, the park's Web site, and park advertising signage. Since this had been announced in May this closure provided a public relations opportunity for General Motors who shuttled some 1500 tourists to see other Chicago attractions. From Toyota's perspective the $300,000 was a rental expense and the $500,000 was a sponsoring donation. On August 7, 2006, Allstate paid a $200,000 rental expense and a similar $500,000 sponsoring donation. For this price, Allstate acquired the visitation rights to a different set of features and only had exclusive access to certain features after 4 p.m.

The Financial Times describes the park as an extraordinary 21st century park resulting from a unique combination of money and power that liberates artistic expression in the way it creates a new iconic images of the city. Time magazine views both the Cloud Gate and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion as part of a well-planned visit to Chicago. Frommer's lists exploring Millennium Park as one of the four best free things to do in the city, and it commends the park for it various artistic offerings. Lonely Planet recommends an hour long stroll to see the park's playful art. Fodor's describes the park as one of its favorite sunny destinations in the city, with special kudos to the Pritzker Paviilion. The park is praised as a "showcase of art and urban design" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Time refers to it as an artful arrangement resulting from a creative ensemble. The park is considered to be beyond the ambitions of many cities.

A book entitled MILLENNIUM PARK: Creating a Chicago Landmark by Timothy J. Gilfoyle was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice in 2006. The book was also an editor's choice for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The park was designed so that it only needs a single lift and its accessibility has won its project director the 2005 Barrier-Free America Award in recognition of individual leadership in making our country more accessible for all Americans. In addition, the park was recognized in the Green Roof Awards of Excellence in the Intensive Industrial/Commercial category. Green Roof considers the park to be the largest green roof in the world, as it covers a structural deck supported by two reinforced concrete cast-in-place garages and steel structures that span over Illinois Central Railroad tracks.

In addition to formal critical review, the park is admired as an example of successful urban planning by other mayors such as San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome, who wishes San Francisco could do the same thing. Even the Mayor of Shanghai has enjoyed himself at the park.

Jeff Garlin claims that I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With was the first Hollywood movie to incorporate Millennium Park. The film was not released until after several other movies such as The Weather Man starring Nicolas Cage, which was shot in part at the park's McCormick Tribune Plaza & Ice Rink. The Break-Up shot scenes in the park and had to reshoot some of them because Cloud Gate was under cover in some of the initial shootings. Butterfly on a Wheel shot some scenes in the park. The Lake House also shot scenes in the park. Leverage has filmed in the park. Derailed is another movie that has filmed in the park. The first few episodes of the first season of Prison Break featured shots of the fountain.

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Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario entrance.jpg

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) (French: Musée des beaux-arts de l'Ontario) is an art museum on the eastern edge of Toronto's downtown Chinatown district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. With 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft) of physical space, the AGO is one of the largest art museums in North America.

Its collection includes more than 68,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present-day. It includes an extensive collection of Canadian art, which depicts the development of Canada's heritage from pre-Confederation to the present. Indeed, works by Canadian artists make up more than half of the AGO's collection. The museum also has an impressive collection of European art, including major works by Tintoretto, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, Emile Antoine Bourdelle, and Frans Hals, and works by other renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Rodin, Vincent Van Gogh, and Edgar Degas. In addition to these, the AGO also has one of the most significant collections of African art in North America, as well as a contemporary art collection illustrating the evolution of modern artistic movements in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including works by Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, and Jenny Holzer. Finally, the AGO is home to the Henry Moore Sculpture Centre, which houses the largest public collection of works by this British sculptor. Moore's bronze work, Two Large Forms (1966–1969) greets visitors at the museum's north façade, at the intersection of Dundas and McCaul Streets.

The museum was founded in 1900 by a group of private citizens, who incorporated the institution as the Art Museum of Toronto. The Legislative Assembly of Ontario subsequently enacted An Act respecting the Art Museum of Toronto in 1903. The museum was renamed the Art Gallery of Toronto in 1919, and subsequently the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966.

The current location of the AGO dates to 1910, when the gallery was willed the estate known as the Grange, a historic Georgian manor built in 1817, upon the death of Goldwin Smith. In 1911, the museum leased lands to the south of the manor to the City of Toronto in perpetuity so as to create Grange Park. In 1920, the museum also allowed the Ontario College of Art to construct a building on the grounds.

The museum's first formal exhibitions were opened in the Grange in 1913. In 1916, the museum decided to begin construction of a small portion of a planned new gallery building. Designed by Pearson and Darling in the Beaux-Arts style, excavation of the new facility began in 1916, and the first galleries opened in 1918. Expansion throughout the 20th century added various galleries, culminating in 1993, which left the AGO with 38,400 square metres (413,000 sq ft) of interior space.

As the institution and its collections grew, major benefactors included Harris Henry Fudger, Walter C. Laidlaw, Joey Tanenbaum, George Weston, Frank Porter Wood, Edward Rogers Wood, Ayala Zacks and the Eaton family.

Under the direction of its CEO Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO embarked on a $254 million (later increased to $276 million) redevelopment plan by architect Frank Gehry in 2004, called Transformation AGO. The new addition would require demolition of the 1992 Post-Modernist wing by Barton Myers and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB). Although Gehry was born in Toronto, and as a child had lived in the same neighbourhood as the AGO, the expansion of the gallery represented his first work in Canada. Gehry was commissioned to expand and revitalize the AGO, not to design a new building; as such, one of the challenges he faced was to unite the disparate areas of the building that had become a bit of a "hodgepodge" after six previous expansions dating back to the 1920s.

Kenneth Thomson was a major benefactor of Transformation AGO, donating much of his art collection to the gallery as well as providing $50 million towards the renovation. Thomson died in 2006, two years before the project was complete.

The project initially drew some criticism. As an expansion, rather than a new creation, concerns were raised that the new AGO would not look like a Gehry signature building, and that the opportunity to build an entirely new gallery, perhaps on Toronto's waterfront, was being squandered. During the course of the redevelopment planning, board member and patron Joey Tanenbaum temporarily resigned his position due to concerns over donor recognition, design issues surrounding the new building as well as cost of the project. The public rift was subsequently healed.

The AGO reopened in November 2008, with the transformation project having increased the art viewing space by 47%. Notable elements of the expanded building include a new glass and wood façade spanning 180 metres (590 ft) along Dundas Street, a new entrance aligned with the gallery's historic Walker Court and the Grange, and a new four-storey south wing, clad in glass and blue titanium, overlooking both the Grange and Grange Park.

In keeping with web 2.0 trends, the AGO has initiated a social media website called Collection X, which provides users with a space to share ideas about life and art. Collection X showcases the work of contemporary photographers and visual artists and gives users the ability to discuss the works, create online exhibitions and upload their own content.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall

Image-Disney Concert Hall by Carol Highsmith edit.jpg

The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves (among other purposes) as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

The Frank Gehry-designed building opened on October 23 2003. While the architecture (as with other Gehry works) evoked polarized opinions, the acoustics of the concert hall (designed by Yasuhisa Toyota) were widely praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

The project was launched in 1987, when Lillian Disney, widow of Walt Disney, donated $50 million. Frank Gehry delivered completed designs in 1991. Construction of the underground parking garage began in 1992 and was completed in 1996. The garage cost had been $110 million, and was paid for by Los Angeles County, which sold bonds to provide the garage under the site of the planned hall. Construction of the concert hall itself stalled from 1994 to 1996 due to lack of fundraising. Additional funds were required since the construction cost of the final project far exceeded the original budget. Plans were revised, and in a cost saving move the originally designed stone exterior was replaced with a less costly metal skin. The needed fundraising restarted in earnest in 1996—after the real estate depression passed—headed up by Eli Broad and then-mayor Richard Riordan and groundbreaking for the hall was held in December 1999. Delay in the project completion caused many financial problems for the county of LA. The city expected to repay the garage debts by revenue coming from the Disney Hall parking users.

Upon completion in 2003, the project had cost an estimated $274 million, including the parking garage which had solely cost $110 million. The remainder of the total cost was paid by private donations, of which the Disney family's contribution was estimated to $84.5 million with another $25 million from The Walt Disney Company. By comparison, the three existing halls of the Music Center cost $35 million in the 1960s (about $190 million in today's dollars).

The hall met with lauded approval from nearly all of its listeners, including its performers. In an interview with PBS, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, said, "The sound, of course, was my greatest concern, but now I am totally happy, and so is the orchestra," and later said, "Everyone can now hear what the L.A. Phil is supposed to sound like." This remains to be one of the most successful grand openings of a concert hall in American history.

The walls and ceiling of the hall are finished with Douglas-fir while the floor is finished with oak. The Hall's reverberation time is approximately 2.2 seconds unoccupied and 2.0 seconds occupied.

After the construction, modifications were made to the Founders Room exterior; while most of the building's exterior was designed with stainless steel given a matte finish, the Founders Room and Children's Amphitheater were designed with highly polished mirror-like panels. The reflective qualities of the surface were amplified by the concave sections of the Founders Room walls. Some residents of the neighboring condominiums suffered glare caused by sunlight that was reflected off these surfaces and concentrated in a manner similar to a parabolic mirror. The resulting heat made some rooms of nearby condominiums unbearably warm, caused the air-conditioning costs of these residents to skyrocket and created hot spots on adjacent sidewalks of as much as 60 ºC (140 ºF). After complaints from neighboring buildings and residents, the owners asked Gehry Partners to come up with a solution. Their response was a computer analysis of the building's surfaces identifying the offending panels. In 2005 these were dulled by lightly sanding the panels to eliminate unwanted glare.

The design of the hall included a large concert organ, completed in 2004, which was used in a special concert for the July 2004 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists. The organ had its public debut in a non-subscription recital performed by Frederick Swann on September 30, 2004, and its first public performance with the Philharmonic two days later in a concert featuring Todd Wilson.

The organ's facade was designed by architect Frank Gehry in consultation with organ consultant and sound designer Manuel Rosales. Gehry wanted a distinctive, unique design for the organ. He would submit design concepts to Rosales, who would then provide feedback. Many of Gehry's early designs were fanciful, but impractical: Rosales said in an interview with Timothy Mangan of The Orange County Register, "His earliest input would have created very bizarre musical results in the organ. Just as a taste, some of them would have had the console at the top and pipes upside down. There was another in which the pipes were in layers of arrays like fans. Very fascinating. Couldn't be built. The pipes would have had to be made out of materials that wouldn't work for pipes. We had our moments where we realized we were not going anywhere. As the design became more practical for me, it also became more boring for him." Then, Gehry came up with the curved wooden pipe concept, "like a logjam kind of thing," says Rosales, "turned sideways." This design turned out to be musically viable.

The organ was built by the German organ builder, Caspar Glatter-Götz, under the tonal direction and voicing of Manuel Rosales. It has an attached console built into the base of the instrument from which the pipes of the Positive, Great, and Swell manuals are playable by direct mechanical, or "tracker" key action, with the rest playing by electric key action; this console somewhat resembles North-German Baroque organs, and has a closed-circuit television monitor set into the music desk. It is also equipped with a detached, movable console, which can be moved about as easily as a grand piano, and plugged in at any of four positions on the stage, this console has terraced, curved "amphitheatre"-style stop-jambs resembling those of French Romantic organs, and is built with a low profile, with the music desk entirely above the top of the console, for the sake of clear sight lines to the conductor. From the detached console, all ranks play by electric key and stop action.

In all, there are 72 stops, 109 ranks, and 6,125 pipes; pipes range in size from a few centimeters/inches to the longest being 9.75m (32 feet) (which has a frequency of 16 hertz).

The organ is a gift to the County of Los Angeles from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (the U.S. sales, marketing, service, and distribution arm of Toyota Motor Corporation).

The concert hall houses celebrity chef Joachim Splichal's landmark fine dining restaurant Patina. Patina serves French and California cuisine.

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Source : Wikipedia