2005.04.27

Gehry waves

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[Gehry waves]
 
Seattle Center, a flickr photoset

Have just started on this set; so far there are only six nine photos, but I’ll be adding more over the next few days. I suspect after that, it’ll be come and go.


The unfortunate thing about Frank Gehry’s Experience Music Project building is that the side facing 5th Avenue North, with its low-gloss, bathroom-tile red paint job, is the only one most people see before deciding the whole thing is a giant blight on Seattle’s landscape. Whether your view is from across the street at Element, or from way atop Denny Hill, that’s what you see — a raw boil breaking through a glowing mass of metal.

On the other hand, from almost any other angle, the building is really quite pretty. Iridescent plates line the other three “sides” of the building’s exterior: in golden, wave-like ripples to the south; an expansive vertical cliff-face of shimmering purple to the west, and silver, cloudy, organic curves to the north. The walls were covered with the patina of hundreds of hand- and fingerprints, and no surprise; the sheet metal nearly cried out to be handled, to be pressed to one’s cheeks and shoulders with a whispered promise of a cool touch on even the hottest summer day. And, well, if you know me and my compulsively polished iPod, you’ll think I’d be horrified at that thought, but I daresay that they made the building even more beautiful.

Even so, I didn’t wind up hugging the EMP. There were just too many people watching.


  • Hee! That probably wouldn’t have been very comfortable. :)

    The building definitely looks different from every angle. I really like that about it — not sure if it works from a long distance but close up there’s really something about that effect — especially when it gets all shiny and purpley where it faces the Space Needle.

  • I remember there was a special on either MTV or VH1 a few years ago when the Experience Music Project opened. The building is such a unique shape, but despite this it appeared to be two different buildings all together depending on what angle they showed it from.

    When I first read the last sentence, I thought you almost hugged an electromagnetic pulse generator which I didn't really they had (or don't for that matter). ^_^

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