Gehry says ‘Simpsons’ cameo haunts him, explains 8 Spruce Street design

TRD New York /
Sep.September 06, 2011 11:44 AM
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From left: Frank Gehry, 8 Spruce Street and a cartoon Gehry admiring a crumpled paper on “The Simpsons”

Architect Frank Gehry appeared on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS this past Sunday (video unavailable) and spoke about his design process. When Zakaria suggested that a crumpled piece of paper provided the motivation for the folds typical of Gehry buildings, and especially his design of Disney Hall in L.A., Gehry said it was a myth perpetuated by a cameo in “The Simpsons.” “That was just a fun — fun thing, but it has — it has haunted me,” Gehry said. “People do — who’ve seen ‘The Simpsons’ — believe it.” (For our Spanish speaking readers, a dubbed clip of the episode in question can be seen here.)

Gehry later explained the story behind the massive apartment building at 8 Spruce Street he designed, called New York by Gehry. The stair steps were inspired by the historic buildings in New York, he said, and were part of an effort to build a modern building that reflected the character of classic New York architecture. The folds, he said, “are like when your mother holds you in your arms,” and elicit a primitive response. The folds and shape combine to give character to the building and prevent it from being a “modernist slab,” Gehry added. [CNN]


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