Here’s what Frank Gehry had to say
about LA

“The High Line is a rusty rail bridge and they put some plants on it.”

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 26, 2017 02:00 PM

Los Angeles may be known for Grammy-winning musicians and red-carpet actors, but there is one individual who has risen to that level of fame without ever gracing the big screen.

Frank Gehry, a world-renowned architect who calls Southern California home, spoke to an attentive audience on Tuesday evening as real estate professionals and city planners gathered at the Convention Center for Urban Land Institute’s Fall Meeting, co-chaired by developer Wayne Ratkovich.

The outspoken, unfazed architect responsible for the unique Walt Disney Concert Hall; the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; and countless other works refused to hold back in his conversation with radio host and producer Frances Anderton of KCRW. Here are some of the thoughts the 88-year-old designer shared:

“Los Angeles used to look different, but now it looks like every other city in the world,” Gehry said when asked what he thinks of all the new development. When prompted on specific developments he might be referring to, Gehry playfully responded with, “But I didn’t come here to rag on people.”

Gehry, whose work often breaks boundaries with out-of-the-box designs, had much to say about the state of architecture today and the role of architects themselves. “Architecture suffers from being overprotected,” he said. “As an architect, you’re infantilized.”

Gehry made the argument that architects should be working alongside developers to enhance the cost and efficiency of a project – rather than merely providing plans.

“We need to get into the fray and work with partners,” Gehry said. “We need to take more responsibility and become partners [with developers].”

Gehry said he even flirted with the idea of developing himself, noting, “When I started out, I thought ‘why not be the developer?”

When asked about how to solve the current housing crisis, he admitted to not having answers. “I’m ready to do it, but I don’t know where or how,” he said.

And that’s a theme that has reverberated through his four years on the 51-mile L.A. River redevelopment project, an endeavor that architect Mia Lehrer paved the way for, which took up a large portion of the conversation.

Anderton compared the river to New York City’s famous Highline, asking Gehry if there’s a potential the river will be a similar tourist attraction in L.A.. Without hesitation, Gehry quipped “The High Line is a rusty rail bridge and they put some plants on it.”

The public figure didn’t shy away from taking shots at ULI’s pay rate, quipping, “Half my time is [spent] being philanthropic – like today.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
1301 Collingwood Place near Hollywood and Long Arc Capital's Kipp Nelson (Beverley Hills Estates, Long Arc Capital)
Car connoisseur’s mansion in Hollywood Hills relists for $48M
Car connoisseur’s mansion in Hollywood Hills relists for $48M
Architect Frank Gehry and rendering of Ocean Avenue Project (Getty, Ocean Avenue Project)
Santa Monica approves Frank Gehry project
Santa Monica approves Frank Gehry project
Development, environment, Los Angeles River, lawsuit, river master plan, LA
Environmental groups sue to block LA River master plan
Environmental groups sue to block LA River master plan
510 Arkell Drive with architect Miguel Angel Aragones (Inessa Binenbaum, LinkedIn)
Trousdale Estates home remodeled by Mexican architect lists for $20M
Trousdale Estates home remodeled by Mexican architect lists for $20M
L.A. Metro board members Sheila Kuehl, Hilda Solis and rendering of new transit stops with high-end condos in Pasadena and North Hollywood (SCNG photographers, LA Metro)
Transit agency to bank land near future rail stations to stymie gentrification
Transit agency to bank land near future rail stations to stymie gentrification
Grant Kirkpatrick with 308 The Strand (KAA Design Group, Paul Jonason, iStock)
Manhattan Beach manse aims for record on The Strand
Manhattan Beach manse aims for record on The Strand
HBC's Richard Baker with  9600 Wilshire Blvd (SFA, Cornell)
Historic Saks Fifth Avenue complex in Beverly Hills eyed for redevelopment
Historic Saks Fifth Avenue complex in Beverly Hills eyed for redevelopment
Richard Landry and the Brentwood home (Manolo Langis, Landry Design Group)
Starchitect Richard Landry’s home fetches record price in Brentwood neighborhood
Starchitect Richard Landry’s home fetches record price in Brentwood neighborhood
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...