ENR: Gehry’s Florida Project “Put All The Juice Inside”

Frank Gehry is perhaps the darling of the architectural world, at least in terms of the general population. Past projects of his required custom software and incredibly tedious fabrication and installation on the part of contractors. While much of his work defies imagination, basic laws of physics (especially involving water intrusion into building envelopes) have not been so easy to disregard. This Miami Beach, Florida project maintains a fairly traditional looking envelope/shell with Gehry’s signature architectural forms inside viewable through a large curtain wall.

Fans of the Los Angeles-based Gehry Partners might feel robbed of breathtaking architecture. But the builders of the six-story, block-long New World Symphony (NWS) campus don?t seem to care. On the contrary, they are relieved that Gehry has forsaken his origami-like folds, at least on the surface. No mind-boggling coordinate geometry on the exterior. No concerns about a roller-coaster-like steel frame. No undue stress about envelope fit-up or a leaky facade.

The shoebox shape of the 100,641-sq-ft academy released the contractors, they chorus, to concentrate on the ?nightmarish? conditions inside. For as much as the outside is restrained, the interior is a collection of Gehry?s description-defying double bends and tilts, with very few curved surfaces duplicated.