The Gehry Curse?


Man oh man, Frank O. Gehry is not having a good month. (Maybe it’s true what they say about the end of January, no matter how starchitect-y you are.) Last week came the news that Gehry Partners is being axed as architect of record on the Museum of Tolerance in Israel; now we’re hearing wind of a stop-work order on New York’s own Beekman Tower. At least the band-aids are coming now, rather than three years after construction — as in the case of MIT’s Stata Center, over which Gehry was sued for breach of contract (read: leaks and cracked masonry) in 2007. See what the world will be missing in the form of Israel’s flashiest to-be building, after the jump.

Renderings of Gehry Partners design for the Museum of Tolerance in Israel (above and below).

Gehry was tapped six years ago by Jerusalem’s Museum of Tolerance as architect for the center, though his best-laid plans have been vexed by constant community protest for its excess, especially in the wake of recent global economic turbulence. A statement issued by the museum board of trustees for the Simon Wiesenthal Center stated that an order is in place to redesign the project “to reflect today’s world economic realities, and will shortly name the new architect for the design.” Or perhaps the board just realized that the facade resembles a gift-wrapped paper shredder. (Artichoke? Colander? Elegant testament to a new millennium of racial and cultural tolerance?)

Top view of a model built for the project.

Interior sketch by Gehry Partners.