Sun and Steel

23 Aug


The Beekman, Sept. 2009. Photo by DMT


I wish I could move into the Beekman when it opens next year.  This beautiful Frank Gehry designed building will not only house a 100, 000 sq. ft. school which will educate 630 Pre K-8th grade students, but it will also contain the 25,000 sq. ft. New York Downtown Hospital.  Above both the school and the hospital will be 903 luxury apartments for rent, but no units for sale.

I’d love to live in this building not only because it’s aesthetically beautiful, but also because Frank Gehry inspires me.  He’s an 80-year old Canadian transplant, who has a unique vision of what architecture should do and be.  His designs all begin with simple stark line sketches and then he utilizes ordinary materials to begin to shape the flow of each building.  If you ever want to see how he does it, watch Sidney Pollack’s documentary, “Sketches of Frank Gehry.”

Gehry’s buildings all have common elements that identify them as “Gehry designs,” but each building has its own personality, so much so that Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was recently voted the most important piece of architecture of the 20th century in a poll taken by Vanity Fair.

I also love Frank Gehry because he doesn’t claim to have all the answers. In fact, one of my favorite Gehry quotes is, “You’ve got to bumble forth into the unknown.”  He tries things simply because he thinks they might work, and when they don’t, he doesn’t sweat it.  I think, for me, he embodies my dream of moving to New York City.  Try it.  If it doesn’t work, then there are 49 other states to choose from!

The second piece of “expensive” jewelry I ever bought myself was a Gehry Torque ring from Tiffany.  I bought it because I loved the design – open and modern – and because the definition of torque is “a twisting force that tends to cause rotation.”  I wear this ring every day as a reminder of my promise to myself to live the life I love, and love the life I live – even when the force of it causes a rotation that changes everything.

I wish I could afford an apartment in this building, but I can’t, and that’s okay.  Some day soon, I’ll have the pleasure of walking down Spruce Street and looking up at an architectural marvel.

So, as Frank said, “Let the experience begin!”





The Beekman, June 2010. Photo by DMT




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