Tag Archives: Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry–Designed Restaurant Opens at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Gehry Partners is helming a major multi-year renovation of the museum, which includes a new restaurant and cafe in the Neo-Classical building’s lower levels.

 

Frank Gehry Philadelphia Museum Art restaurant

A milestone was reached last month with the opening of Stir, a fine dining restaurant at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is undergoing an almost $200 million transformation of its 1928 Neo-Classical building led by Frank Gehry and his Los Angeles-based firm, Gehry Partners.

Stir and its adjacent cafeteria, Café, are the first new public facilities to be completed in the museum’s “core project,” which will open by 2020 and introduce 90,000 square feet of newly-accessible areas to visitors, including 23,000 square feet of new gallery space. These new spaces (all located underground or within the building’s existing shell) will be followed by other renovations—including new daylit galleries under the museum’s East Terrace and a new auditorium, additions that will be completed in later phases—at a cost that has not yet been determined.

Specializing in seasonal, locally-sourced cuisine, Stir is Gehry’s first restaurant open to the public on the East Coast. He has been designing restaurants since the 1980s, including a new beachfront dining complex on the Pacific Coast Highway, still in the planning stages, that will be operated by Los Angeles chef Wolfgang Puck.

Stir is an intriguing combination of the old and the new, reflecting Gehry’s abiding respect for the museum’s original Horace Trumbauer–designed building, located at one end of Philadelphia’s famous Benjamin Franklin Parkway, itself inspired by Paris’ Champs Elysees.

Gehry has retained the original Tiffany & Co. metalwork on the exterior of Stir’s windows, which are six-foot, ten-inches tall and will allow diners to look out to West Philadelphia when the core project is complete. Gehry also uses Kasota stone—the same Minnesota dolomitic limestone employed throughout the original museum building—on flooring that runs down the center of the wing that houses Stir and Café.

Frank Gehry Philadelphia Museum Art restaurant

Douglas fir—a wood favored by Gehry in many of his most famous commissions, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain—clads much of the interior of the 1,600-square-foot, 76-seat Stir. While the walls are Douglas fir veneer, the wood is also used as beams in a striking, curved, latticework sculptural element that hangs from Stir’s ceiling. Meaghan Lloyd, chief of staff and a partner at Gehry Partners, called the shapes of the sculpture—woven into a form that resembles an inverted basket, or a bird’s nest, as some at the museum fondly describe it—“a nod” to the museum’s vaulted walkway and curved gallery ceilings that will eventually be built.

Gehry, she added, loves using Douglas fir because “it is a warm wood that, as it ages, gets warmer and warmer. It makes you feel like you’re being embraced by the room.”

Stir’s outer wall, adjacent to the central corridor of the wing where it is located, is lined with two types of glass, frosted for the bottom two-thirds, clear for the top third, the former providing privacy for diners, the latter offering passersby a glimpse of the ceiling sculpture.

Frank Gehry Philadelphia Museum Art restaurant

The warm, natural, contemporary atmosphere sought by Gehry here is further evident in the restaurant’s Red oak flooring, teak-veneered serving stations, and burgundy leather, used in booths for diners (a Gehry Partners design made by Beachley Furniture) and in the Pasqualina armchairs from Studio Grassi & Bianchi. Also part of the restaurant’s natural, subtle palette: cream-colored acoustical tile positioned above the Douglas fir wall panels and on the ceiling.

Similarly, beige, red-veined Quartzite is used for Stir’s dining tabletops (a Gehry Partners design made by Prismatique) and the countertop of the low, Douglas fir-covered wall right inside the restaurant’s entrance. This wall divides Stir’s main seating area from its stainless steel-clad open kitchen, a feature Lloyd believes adds to the intimacy of the restaurant, providing diners “a view on the excitement of the kitchen.”

“The museum has such a great mission, serving a lot of people with a lot of different backgrounds, so we definitely wanted to make Stir friendly and accessible. It’s a very simple palette—we tried to let the light and the material here do the work. We wanted it to be comfortable, comforting, refined and also warm and friendly,” Lloyd added.

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This Architect-Designed Furniture Is More Conceptual Than Conventional

No-Thing The Chicago-based designer Ania Jaworksa contributed a freestanding bookshelf to “No-Thing.” Its curved base means it cannot be place flat against a wall. Courtesy Dan KuklaTwo ongoing exhibitions at the Friedman Benda gallery in Manhattan feature furniture designed by architects.Courtesy Dan KuklaInside the Walls: Architects Design, collects furniture designed by canonical figures such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Gio Ponti, and Richard Meier, among others. Pictured is Gerrit Rietveld’s Armchair Model no. R54 (1942).”

The first show, Inside the Walls: Architects Design, collects furniture designed by canonical figures such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Gio Ponti, and Richard Meier, among others. Pictured is Gerrit Rietveld’s Armchair Model no. R54 (1942).Courtesy Friedman BendaInside the Walls: Architects Design Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1921 Peacock chair was designed for the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.”

Inside the Walls: Architects Design Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1921 Peacock chair was designed for the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.Courtesy Friedman BendaInside the Walls: Architects Design A 1951 coffee table designed by the Italian design giant Gio Ponti”

Inside the Walls: Architects Design A 1951 coffee table designed by the Italian design giant Gio PontiCourtesy Friedman BendaInside the Walls: Architects Design Louis Kahn forayed into furniture design with this desk he designed for clients Morton and Lenore Weiss to suit the house he built for them in 1950.”

Inside the Walls: Architects Design Louis Kahn forayed into furniture design with this desk he designed for clients Morton and Lenore Weiss to suit the house he built for them in 1950.Courtesy Friedman BendaInside the Walls: Architects Design Frank Gehry’s 1973 Easy Edges furniture collection made ingenious use of corrugated cardboard. Pictured is a rocking chaise longue. “

Inside the Walls: Architects Design Frank Gehry’s 1973 Easy Edges furniture collection made ingenious use of corrugated cardboard. Pictured is a rocking chaise longue. Courtesy Friedman BendaNo-Thing was curated by Juan Garcia Mosqueda, the curator and founder of the design gallery Chamber.”

No-Thing was curated by Juan Garcia Mosqueda, the curator and founder of the design gallery Chamber.Courtesy Dan KuklaNo-Thing It’s not immediately clear how one might begin to use architecten de vylder vinck taillieu’s Kamer Frank, a pile of plywood, chipboard, and color-coated MDF.”

No-Thing It’s not immediately clear how one might begin to use architecten de vylder vinck taillieu’s Kamer Frank, a pile of plywood, chipboard, and color-coated MDF.Courtesy Dan KuklaNo-Thing frame 01, SO-IL’s answer to the No-Thing curatorial prompt, defies description. The chain-link construction can handle several sitters at a time.”

No-Thing frame 01, SO-IL’s answer to the No-Thing curatorial prompt, defies description. The chain-link construction can handle several sitters at a time.Courtesy Dan KuklaNo-Thing Leong Leong’s set of complementary “rockers,” one heavy (made of gneiss stone) and the other light (made of perforated stainless steel)”

No-Thing Leong Leong’s set of complementary “rockers,” one heavy (made of gneiss stone) and the other light (made of perforated stainless steel)Courtesy Dan KuklaNo-Thing MOS’s Model Furniture No. 5 (Table) is among the standouts of No-Thing.”

No-Thing MOS’s Model Furniture No. 5 (Table) is among the standouts of No-Thing.Courtesy Dan KuklaNo-Thing The Chicago-based designer Ania Jaworksa contributed a freestanding bookshelf to “No-Thing.” Its curved base means it cannot be place flat against a wall. ” 

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Friedman Benda Offers Up One-Off Furnishings by Great Architects

Easy Edges chaise by Frank Gehry, 1973. Photography by Dan Kukla.

The worlds of architecture and furniture are inextricably related—that may be why many of history’s greatest architects, such as Jean Prouvé, Oscar Niemeyer, and Zaha Hadid, also lent their prowess to product design. New York gallery Friedman Benda is exploring these commonalities in two concurrent exhibitions, one revisiting mid-century classics and another highlighting contemporary front runners.

Prototype Chair by Warren Platner, 1965. Photography by Dan Kukla.

Starting at mid-century, furniture dealer Mark McDonald is presenting “Inside the Walls: Architects Design,” a survey of seminal furnishings from celebrated architects like Luis Barragán, Marcel Breuer, Frank Gehry, Charlotte Perriand, and Kenzo Tange. Many are unique custom designs for specific commissions, both residential and commercial. Crowning the gallery space are cantilevered light fixtures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his 1914 Francis W. Little House in Minnesota. Archival photographs show furnishings in situ.

Coffee table by Gio Ponti, 1955. Photography by Dan Kukla.
Cabinet No. 8 by Ettore Sottsass, 1994. Image courtesy of Friedman Benda.

For McDonald, this is a passion project. “My favorite furniture at home are pieces designed by architects,” says McDonald, who co-founded New York’s Fifty/50 Gallery, renowned for exhibiting the first-ever Eames retrospective. “Unhampered by the constraints of designing for manufacturing and mass-market appeal (or even for comfort), architects are at liberty to imagine something unique, perfectly suited for the function and space.”

Wanna Go There! partition and Where is this? bench by Andy and Dave, 2018. Image courtesy of Friedman Benda. 

Juan Garcia Mosqueda has always been drawn to architecture’s relationship with furniture. He founded Manhattan gallery Chamber, which championed contemporary independent design for three years. Although he shuttered the space last July, Mosqueda’s days as a curator are far from over. “No-Thing” showcases newly commissioned works from nine emerging architectural practices known for pushing boundaries. Through innovative use of materials and form, each piece calls into question our approach to interiors. For example, two rockers by Leong Leong—one in Gneiss stone, the other in perforated stainless steel—upend notions of mass. Objects like these, says Mosqueda, urge us “to take not solely a passive but an active role” at reimagining our relationship with domestic objects.

Light Rocker and Heavy Rocker by Leong Leong, 2018. Photography by Naho Kubota.
Kamer Frank daybed by architecten de vylder vinck taillieu, 2017. Image courtesy of Friedman Benda.

“Inside the Walls: Architects Design” and “No-Thing” both display until February 17. Friedman Benda is located at 515 West 26th Street in New York.

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14 of the Most Beautiful Buildings That Defy Gravity

Building: Museum of Tomorrow
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Architect: Santiago Calatrava
Fun fact: Completed in 2015, 1.4 million people visited the Museum of Tomorrow during its inaugural year, far exceeding the anticipated 450,000 visits. It is currently the most-visited museum in Brazil.

 

Photo: Getty Images

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Building: Takasugi-an (Tea house on the Tree)
Location: Chino, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Architect: Terunobu Fujimori
Fun fact: The name Takasugi-an means, “a tea house [built] too high.”

Photo: Getty Images

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Building: Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank
Location: Udine, Italy
Architecture firm: Morphosis Architects
Fun fact: The architects tilted the entire building 14 degrees to the south so the upper floors naturally shade the lower floors of the building, thereby conserving energy.

 

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