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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Architect Frank Gehry's New Sydney Building

We are getting a controversial new building in Sydney. Famous architect Frank Gehry has designed the strangest building I have ever seen for the University of Technology (UTS). Aussie ex pat Germaine Greer said in the Guardian today that "The Sydney Opera house may be one of the best known structures in the world, but it is also a worse building than anything Gehry would want to put his name to." Gee thanks for your patriotic support Germaine. She then goes on to denigrate Utzon and his famous design.

She points out that Utzon had the magnificent Bennelong Point as his site whereas Gehry will have to make do with a car park on the corner of Ultimo Road and Omnibus Lane - not exactly the nicest location in the city, but Gehry says "I like the problem." The Sydney press have already dubbed it the "brown bag" because that's exactly what it looks like - five brown paper bags with 15 windows, scrunched up, then unscrunched and stacked together. He calls his design "The Tree House" - why I have no idea.

As Professor Greer points out Gehry is building in Sydney because Australia is one of the few countries in the world not going through a recession. The estimated cost of the new building is $150 million but we all know that the end price of the build is always way over budget. But hey, we'll have another tourist attraction in Sydney.