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Architect Gehry Designs L.A. Skyscrapers
24 April 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Frank Gehry, the award-winning architect known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has designed two skyscrapers as cornerstones of a huge project intended to lure night life to the downtown area.

The buildings are part of the $1.8 billion Grand Avenue revitalization effort.

Few people venture to the district after dark, even though it includes Gehry's Disney Concert Hall, the Music Center and Museum of Contemporary Art.

The pair of L-shaped buildings would be 50 and 24 stories tall and curtained with translucent glass. The largest tower would include 250 condominiums, three rooftop pools, a 275-room hotel, spa and health club. The smaller one would include 100 affordable housing rental units and 150 condos.

The structures would be Gehry's first Los Angeles skyscraper. He said the project is intended to give the area a mix of different age, economic and ethnic groups.

Gehry's design would include shopping and dining pavilions that mimic the curved planes of the Disney hall's stainless steel sheathing. However, the pavilions would be built of stone and glass instead of steel.

"We've worked hard to make this a true L.A., building and to make it a great place to be," he said.

The downtown area is quickly gentrifying, with artists and professionals snapping up units in converted office buildings that now feature million dollar lofts. About 20,000 new residents are expected in the next decade.

Ground was broken last year on a $1.7 billion redevelopment project near the Staples Center arena. The sports and entertainment complex would include a West Coast headquarters for ESPN, a Grammy museum, hotel and restaurants. It is planned about 10 blocks south of the Grand Avenue project.

Gehry, winner in 1989 of the Pritzker Prize -- architecture's highest honor -- envisions his buildings as sculptures. He completed the Disney hall in 2003. His many other works include American Center in Paris, Gehry House in Santa Monica and the Experience Music Project in Seattle. But it's the Guggenheim that is considered his masterwork and among the greatest modern buildings in the world.

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What do u mean by "Gehry's designs come to LA"? What about the Walt Disney Concert Hall?

Anyway, this doesn't seem special. Gehry has done some nice buildings like the guggenheim in bilbao, the pritzker pavilion in chicago (in the pic posted by malec), and the building mentioned above. But... that beekman street tower in new york is really ugly.
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