Monday, June 29, 2009

Frank Gehry and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion

This past weekend I visited one of my favorite cities, Chicago. I was so excited to finally see the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park designed by Frank Gehry. Completed in July 2004, the pavilion is an open stage which seats upwards of 11,000 people in a mixture of fixed seats and the lawn as well as accomodate a full orcherstra on stage.
The pavilion is the gem of Millenium park, which is built over a large parking lot and the Harris Theater. One thing I question is the very lage trellis structure over the lawn seating, seen below. Meant to hold the complicated sound system, I wonder why a vinyl or canvas covering could not be stretched over it in the wintertime for more year round use. It seems much more practical to me and would not break the covenant for no buildings in the park as it would be a temporary structure. Just my 2 cents!
detail of the structure which directs the sound into the audience.
I never have been a fan of Gehry, but I think his style is best suited to outdoor structures like these and it is truly magnificent. Never mind that it cost around $60 million, it was well worth it as it's probably one of the most visited attraction in Chicago these days!
the pavilion seen in the distance above the water wall.
all photos taken with my iphone -which turned out surprisingly well!

15 comments:

Terry said...

I guess I need to be there to enjoy Gehry. I've never seen any in person. I'm probably in the "feel like I should be a fan but I'm not" category. But these always impress. Am I going to be distracted by the structure during performances - in a good way?

La Maison Fou said...

Wow! I like the sleek appearance and the fluid lines!
L

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I'll be in Chicago soon. This is on my list. Thanks for the amazing preview.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Terry, I'm not a fan of most of his work myself. I mean...I don't really dislike it but I think I just don't "get" it. But in this application it works really well and seems fitting to me, especially in person.
Maison, It does look really sleek! Some people say they don't like the exposed structure, but I think that helps the appearance!
Laura, You HAVE to visit Millennium park and the Chicago institute of Art museum next door! I'll be doing a series of posts on the different parts of it this week.

Style Redux 2 said...

Love Gehry and love my new iPhone. I grew up in Chicago/Lake Forest. They are probably concerned about snow/ice in the winter with such a covering.

Pigtown-Design said...

We were there 2 years ago for a wedding. We did the architectural tour by boat, which was fabulous and then spent a lot of time in Milennium Park. Great city!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Beth, I remembered you had grown up outside of Chicago -such a great area. I just think the covering might help with the snow and ice, but I can see how it could be damaging.
PD, I did the boat tour for the first time myself -it was really great! I'm going to do a (hopefully) fun post about it later this week! Stay tuned!

home before dark said...

I want to like Gehry, but while I admire the complexity it took to build this, it doesn't make the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

On the other hand, being a Mac lover forever, I'm glad the iphone's technology is working out for you. Now that's some elegant design!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

If only I got a cell signal in my apartment with it, HBD!!! thats the downfall that may make me get rid of this iphone. It's so frustrating! Stupid AT&T!

home before dark said...

Why can't AT&T be more like a Mac?

Renee Finberg said...

this is very cool.
it looks like it might come alive ...
like a 'transformer'

i bet it is great fun going to a concert there.

xx thanks for the comments

Judith. ..de Santa Fe said...

Wonderful pics .. . especially for your iphone: I've yet to see this, so thanks for sharing!

Eric H said...

I used to have classes in Gehry's Stata Center at MIT. I think his spaces inspire creativity and originality. I think it's very appropriate for a theater such as this. I like going to interesting theaters so there's something to look at when you're waiting for the show to start.

Dickie said...

One of the greatest disappointments was hearing the Geary Wing of the Corcoran Gallery of Art & College wouldn't happen... Such beautiful stuff...

David Toms said...

Frank Gehry has just finished a remodel of the Art Gallery of Ontario here in Toronto, and it is brilliant. he has used lots of natural wood and glass to create a stunning facade. Once inside this, the wooden ribs give the impression of being in a boat.

Just discovered your blog and love it.
Cheers