[Image of Gehry's Rockwell Engineering Center at UC Irvine by flickr user 0xDE]
While the eggheads at MIT, Harvard and Princeton foolishly cherish their Gehry-designed buildings, the powers that be at UC Irvine tore theirs down over the weekend, to make way for bigger buildings for a growing student body. The university officials claim the building was never meant to be permanent and was falling apart. Next up on the slate of Gehry demolitions: Santa Monica Place? The fate of the fading shopping mall is still unclear after a proposal for high-rise residences was soundly defeated and Macerich Development was sent back to the drawing board.
But don't weep for Gehry just yet. Sure, he may be at the center of New York's greatest real estate boondoggle ever in a sweetheart deal offered as a consolation prize for losing the NY Times' skyscraper. And he may have caught some flack for his designs for the Grand Ave project downtown. But the man is designing a wakeboard lake. Yes, you read that right. With two of the largest commissions in the largest cities in the US, how can Gehry top those? Why, by taking on a project in Lehi, Utah of course. Yes, Gehry is designing a "mixed-use project - which includes high-end shopping and restaurants, a wakeboard lake, a five-star hotel and convention center, and a residential community." But will it be clad in titanium?