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The Gap in Ouroussoff’s Gehry Appraisal

Gehry.jpg
IAC Headquarters as a Billboard Backdrop
In his appraisal of Frank Gehry‘s new building in New York for IAC, Barry Diller‘s media and internet empire, the NY Times‘ architecture critic, Nicolai Ouroussoff, writes:
Mr. Gehry’s structure…looks best when approached from a distance….Viewed from the south, the forms appear more blocky. This constantly changing character imbues the building’s exterior with an enigmatic beauty.
There is nothing “enigmatic,” let alone beautiful, about the view from the south that the greatest number of passers-by will get of this ungainly building—the sight from cars approaching from the main north-south thoroughfare along Manhattan’s western edge. The Times accompanied Ouroussoff’s review with four photos of the building, but omitted the view, above, that reduces Gehry’s latest oeuvre to a backdrop for an enormous billboard.
At first glance out the car window, it appears as if the Gap ad for “the boyfriend trouser” is literally affixed to the building. Maybe Diller needs to make one more strategic real estate investment, acquiring the next-door seedy parking lot, trimmed with barbed wire, that has punctured his architectural balloon.

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