DRAWING on wisdom

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2011, 12:00am


The first exhibition in Hong Kong featuring the work of legendary architect Frank Gehry is being held at Taikoo Place until the end of October.

Gehry is widely regarded as one of the most influential architects in modern times and is most famous for his groundbreaking design for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

The Canadian recently designed his first residential project in Asia, a luxury property for Swire Properties - OPUS HONG KONG at 53 Stubbs Road.

In the exhibition, Gehry displays the conceptual drawings, models and photographs of many of his most celebrated works, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

His creative philosophy is also peppered on the walls. 'The approach to architecture should be like science, with breakthroughs that create new information, not repetition of old ideas,' says Gehry, who has won the Pritzker Prize. 'I've always designed my buildings as open-ended things in which people bring their own lives. So I'm not offended when they put grandma's picture on the wall. The spaces are strong enough to look good with those kinds of things.'

Gehry, 82, uses a six-part creative process:

Site analysis: topography, accessibility of the plot and neighbouring buildings are mapped to create a complete understanding of the site.

Programming and massing: block models are placed on a mock-up of the site to develop understanding of their proportions in relation to the landscape.

Conceptual design: study models investigate different building scales and proportions.

Detail design: sketches and study models are refined into formal plans and drawings.

Technical development: three-dimensional images are converted into construction drawings.

Construction: a process of continuous collaborations, evaluation and review involving developer, architect and contractor

'The exhibition pays tribute to his remarkable ingenuity and creativity - qualities that we greatly admire,' says Martin Cubbon, CEO of Swire Properties, which organised the exhibition.

Gehry is not the first world-class architect to design luxury homes in Hong Kong. British architect Sir Norman Foster designed The Lily in Repulse Bay for Chinachem, and is now working on Providence Bay for a consortium that includes Sino Land.

'Good design of property will improve the space arrangement and enhance the comfort of occupants,' says Lilian Lue, associate director at Hong Kong Sotheby's International Realty. 'A good architect is like a master chef who can make simple ingredients taste 'bravo'.'