architecture: Gehry does Miami proud.

4 Apr

Gehry is a name that has become synonymous with cutting edge architecture that not only defines the purpose of the building it represents, it becomes so iconic that is creates a destination in its own right, something so attention grabbing people throng to see the external long before they give a damn about the internal.  All change then for the latest turn by Gehry in Miami for the New World Symphony Concert Hall.

Outside the building looks very un-gehry like without the signature swoops and wooshes of other iconic structures of his, like the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Walt Disney concert hall in Los Angeles for example, but on closer inspection the building feels very Gehry.

High above the entrance, the canopy sweeps and swirls as good as any other Gehry design beckoning you inside, and once you are, well, it’s there that the real Gehry magic starts to happen . . . The architects carved their customary swoops, scoops and warped surfaces in service to the sound, with today’s go-to acoustician, Yasuhisa Toyota, of Tokyo-based Nagata Acoustics. The result is a clarity and immediacy found only in the best seats of standard concert halls typically three times the size.

The New World really comes alive at night though when that very un-Gehry like exterior comes alive.  The NWS will project simulcasts of its concerts on an outside wall of the building, free for audiences lounging in a $13 million park the city built in front, in a park designed by Dutch landscape architect West 8.

This is a party the whole of Miami has been invited to join, and whilst the building won’t excite in the same purist way that Bilbao did – this one is sure to weave itself into the very heart of Miami in a way that its Iberian counterpart can only dream of . . .



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