Author(s): Gerlinde Gruber, Elke Oberthaler
Architects Frank Gehry (b. 1929) and Hans Scharoun (1893-1972) never met in person during Scharoun's lifetime, yet two of their most famous buildings are intimately linked: Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, completed in Los Angeles in 2003, and Scharoun's 1963 concert hall for the Berlin Philharmonic. Although constructed thousands of miles and decades apart from each other, the two buildings, located in what are now sister cities, share striking visual features, such as the combination of bold peaks with graceful sweeping curves. This catalog for a recent exhibition at the Stiftung Brandenburger Tor in Berlin takes the two concert halls as a jumping-off point to examine Scharoun's influence on Gehry and uncover elements common to their work. As Frank Gehry--Hans Scharoun shows, Scharoun's expressionist approach provided inspiration for Gehry's deconstructivist masterpiece in Los Angeles. Furthermore, Scharoun's importance for understanding Gehry's work is evident not only in Gehry's finished buildings, but also in his architectural fantasies for and continued engagement with the city of Berlin: Gehry once entered the competition to revitalize part of Berlin's Museum Island and later designed the DZ Bank Building and the Pierre Boulez Hall in the Barenboim-Said Academy. Assembling essays, interviews, and other documents--including previously unpublished material from Gehry's Los Angeles studio--this richly illustrated volume shines new light on the ties between two of the most important architects of the twentieth century.