Seattle Center: Experience Music Project

Copyright 2008 Jeff Ball

Copyright 2008 Jeff Ball

As I head to Portland today I thought I would post this image from the pacific northwest. This unique sculptural architecture by Frank O. Gehry is situated in Central Seattle and houses the Seattle Center: Experience Music Project. As most of Gehry’s projects, this one was not without controversy. The following comments are from Wikipedia

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Even before groundbreaking, Seattle Weekly said the design could refer to “the often quoted comparison to a smashed electric guitar.” Indeed, Gehry himself had made the comparison, “We started collecting pictures of Stratocasters, bringing in guitar bodies, drawing on those shapes in developing our ideas.”[6] The architecture was greeted by Seattle residents with a mixture of acclaim for Gehry and derision for this particular edifice. “Frank Gehry,” remarked British-born, Seattle-based writer Jonathan Raban, “has created some wonderful buildings, like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, but his Seattle effort, the Experience Music Project, is not one of them.”[7] New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp described it as “something that crawled out of the sea, rolled over, and died.”[8] Forbes magazine called it one of the world’s 10 ugliest buildings.[8] Others describe it as a “blob”[9] or call it “The Hemorrhoids“.[7]

Despite some critical reviews of the structure, the building has been called “a fitting backdrop for the world’s largest collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia.”[10] The Outside of the building which features a fusion of textures and colors, including gold, silver, deep red, blue and a “shimmering purple haze,”[11] has been declared “an apt representation of the American rock experience.”[12]

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