Frank Gehry’s Atlantic Yards
Architectural critic Paul Goldberger’s new biography about Frank Gehry, Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, addresses the architect’s trials and triumphs in New York City. The city represented, Golberger writes, “the unattainable, the mountain that he would try repeatedly to climb, only to find himself sliding back down.” Gehry broke this spell finally with the IAC Building on Manhattan’s west side and the residential skyscraper, New York by Gehry. But prior to these, the city seemed to always evade him, apart from the cafeteria he designed in the Condé Nast headquarters in Times Square.
Here are five projects Gehry designed for the city that were never realized:
Frank Gehry’s NY Times Building design. Image via Elcroquis
In 2000, the New York Times Company held a “starchitecture” design competition for a new headquarters on Eighth Avenue. Competitors included the usual suspects of the late ’90s and early aughts like Norman Foster, Cesar Pelli, David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Frank Gehry.
Renzo Piano’s New York Times Building. Image via Shildan
According to New York Magazine, Gehry said he had actually been commissioned for the job. His proposed design was a twisted high-rise with the Times logo on the side. He allegedly pulled out after a meeting with the developer, Forest City Ratner, who told Gehry he had to be in New York for a meeting that Gehry couldn’t make. This makes the relationship far more antagonistic than is likely true for that time period, as Gehry would work again with Forest City Ratner for Atlantic Yards and New York by Gehry After Gehry dropped out of the Times building, the commission was given to Renzo Piano, architect of Paris’ Centre Pompidou.