Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Gehry in Santa Fe?


I can't help but wonder who runs our local newspapers and why they never manage to break any real stories aside from their fraud investigations. I ran into a little article questioning the possibility that Frank Gehry could be involved in the railyard redevelopment project in Santa Fe. Sadly, this news comes via Denver. Denver is apparently more excited about this than all of northern New Mexico. Just reading the Denver Post on occasion reveals a greater connection between our neighbor city and the Mile High City. When will Albuquerque step up to the plate as a player instead of sitting on the bench?
Don't get me wrong, we're coming along, but we could use a few trophies on our bookshelf. I'm really not that lbig a fan of Gehry's work. However, his Bilboa museum is potentially the most beautiful building I have seen thus far in my travels. His shear name recognition is what people crave and now Santa Fe and Denver will potentially share this qualification(I'm looking for a better word here) with museums designed by top five architects. What makes it worse: we even have Antoine Predock as a local architect. Our assets make us so rich yet we fail to utilize them.
None-the-less, a Gehry would be an amazing addition to the region. I would ride the RailRunner up to Santa Fe many a weekend just to see it and show it off to guests.

Edit: I dug into local news sources a bit more and found an article in the Journal North newspaper regarding this project. That article mentions the possibility for the museum to be located somewhere between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. As much as I like the idea of this project being shared by the two cities, I see it as a waisted opportunity if done in this manner. Part of what makes the Guggenheim Bilbao museum so spectacular is the manner in which the building rises from the ground in an unassuming location along the riverfront in inner-city Bilbao. The project resulted in massive redevelopment in the area, creating an inviting inner city. Another item stated in the Journal was a price tag of $900 million for the museum in Bilbao. The actual cost was closer to $100 million US dollars. $50 million dollars toward this project could result in an amazing project of Santa Fe proportions. Also note the Journal article was dated after the Denver Post article.

14 comments:

four times the trio said...

Cool, for sure. The rail yards in SF have sat still for years. A modern art museum in the area would be great -- not to mention a Gehry.

Reese said...

Nice post. I used to live in Santa Fe, but am now in 'Burque. I miss the architectural features of of the city different, and something like this would obviously just inhance the cities appeal. And Gehry...fascinating.

jeff said...

you know that gehry was involved with a village plan for cochiti in the 70's right?

you wrote: "I'm really not that lbig a fan of Gehry's work. However, his Bilboa museum is potentially the most beautiful building I have seen thus far in my travels."

cripes - what do you want?
you're not a big fan of his work but it is potentially the most beautiful building?????

architects just can't win i guess.

Tim said...

Jeff, I was aware of that project but read somewhere that it was razed years ago.

I've seen a couple of Gehry's buildings: The office building in Prague, the art museum at U of Minnesota. And I've kept up with his more recent building at Cornell, the office building in London? and the Disney theatre in LA. I fail to see why his work is so special. Sorry, just opinion. I, however, love the Guggenheim..inside and out.

Now Calatrava, Pei and Foster I'd pay good money for. Again, just opinion.

jeff said...

i suppose that since cochiti razed their gehry, there's room for another here now.

one of my favorite gehry buildings is the (animation studio???) adjacent to the 5 freeway in (anaheim??). the curved facade clad in dichroic panels that color shift as you drive past. pretty fascinating experience for me.

i'd pay good money for a state-wide (ok - i'll settle for a city-wide) ban on "cultured" stone.

nice blog btw.

Mario said...

One architect who's work should be all over ABQ is Antoine Predock! Thankfully he'll be designing the new Towne Center in Mesa Del Sol as announced in today's Tribune.

jeff said...

it's already doomed if they're spelling it "towne".

Mario said...

That was a typo, but it be even more doomed if it were Towne Centre

jeff said...

good point.
better than "plaza place" though...

and what was with that trib blurb?
so lemme get this straight. it'll be glass curtain wall and stucco? no shit??? really??? we're in the big time now.

Mario said...

Hi Jeff - follow this link to MDS website, it has two renderings of the building, and more details on the overall project.

http://www.mesadelsolnm.com/content.asp?pg=available_buildings

Tim said...

I kinda like it. Sounds like that glass will look kinda cool. It's better than that damn massive UNM hospital that looks more like a detention center. What the hell were they thinking?

Philly said...

Tim have you heard about the Chant's possible "dream project" that was published today in the Journal?

Chants are smart guys, I used to work for a bank here in ABQ, and helped manage some of their business accounts. ALOT of projects in the Jefferson, and Journal Center area.

I'm just a little apprehensive with that size of building in that traffic congeted area. I wouldalso would like to see it DT. A project like this will definitely setback DT revitalization plans back.

Tim, do you have a PM function on this sit?

Tim said...

Thanks Philly! I saw that article and was quite shocked. I'm actually all for that project as it will make traffic worse, probably fetch really high rental rates and hopefully push people out of the corridor back to downtown (I hope). I really hope they get that arena project together soon to get some synergy going downtown.

Also, I don't have a PM set up for this, mostly because I'm not even sure if you can do so with blogger. But, if you want to email me, the easiest way is to click on my flickr photos and send email there.

Press # said...

Just to update Gehry-NM connection, http://tinyurl.com/2ntvqr/.