Sometimes I save travel magazines for a long time with the hopes that some article touting a fabulous place to visit will be the inspiration for a wonderful new vacation to a place I have never been. I think if I had my druthers, as they say, I would be traveling
non-stop until I could no longer physically make it from here to there!
So, while perusing an old Condé Nast Traveler magazine issue from March of 2011 I came across a feature in the magazine called the Where Are You? Contest. Splayed across the pages was the picture shown above. The gig was to figure out the earthly location of the building and then you win a super-duper trip some place.
As this contest was long over, I was not interested in the prize but was totally curious about the architect and the location. After some quick Internet research I discovered that the building is one of three that Frank Gehry, the infamous Canadian architect, had designed for the harbor in Dusseldorf, Germany.
My guess had been that the building was designed by a Japanese architect and in Japan some place, so I guess I would have lost the contest. However, once I found out the answer it just seemed so obvious that it was a Gehry building. After all, who does wiggle and wave better in architecture than Gehry?
The building is one of three constructed as part of a re-gentrification of the harbor area in Dusseldorf, a section of the city that had suffered greatly with the decline in shipping and other industries centered around the seaports of major cities after World War II. Known as Der Neue Zollhof, the bent and curling buildings constructed out of reflective metal and contrasting matte white and adobe red finishes are the highlight of the harbor and a huge tourist attraction.
Interestingly enough, these buildings were constructed many years ago, but their signature Gehry design will be timeless. Known for being the king of deconstructive architecture, there isn’t one of his buildings…from the Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa, Spain to the Dancing House in Prague, Czechoslovakia to the Marqués de Riscal Vineyard Hotel in Elciego,Spain, etc. (see list of all his structures here)…that does not titillate one’s architectural sensibilities.
Here is a short video that will further confirm his talent and superstar status in the world of architecture:
I’m thinking of planning a vacation just around Gehry’s buildings and travel around the world…slowly, of course…visiting each and every one of them. That would be a fantastic vacation, don’t you think?
BTW: The Where Are You? Contest is still a monthly event in the Condé Nast Traveler magazine, so if you think you have a good eye for notable places in the world check it out.
Ciao, ciao ’til next time!