I’ve made mention of the fact that Dennis Hopper bought Arnoldi’s three houses by Gehry, then built another house that obscured them completely. Dennis joked that Gehry built them facing the wrong way anyway and should have understood that when he designed them.
The fronts of the houses faced a vacant lot and that’s where Dennis built the house with Brian Murphy. Dennis’ house is Gehry style from that period.
Murphy wasn’t an architect, he’s a builder using existing material and ‘found objects.’ His work seems to be where Gehry was going at that time. The Arnoldi project was beautifully suited to Venice and I’m sure that Chuck had his say, much as Lee had his say at the Chiat warehouse (not the Binocular Building).
I wish I had discussed this with Hopper in the day. Did he and Murphy consciously hide Gehry’s work?
This is about as much as you can see of Gehry’s work now.
It reminds me of Piazza Navona. We were scouting there and Mario and I stopped at the magnificent, FONTANA DEI QUATTRO FIUMI (Fountain of the Four Rivers). Mario pointed out the figure of THE RIO DE LA PLATA holding up his hand to shield himself from the sight of the Church.
Bernini created the magnificent fountain and Borromini designed the Church, SANT’ AGNESE IN AGONE. Borromini and Bernini were archrivals in that magnificent time in Rome. Bernini is said to have designed the statues in the fountain to seem to turn away from the church in disgust.
Historians challenge that assumption because the fountain was constructed a few years before the church was built, but couldn’t Bernini already know that he would dislike his rival’s work and anticipate?
Dennis is gone, so maybe I’ll track down Brian Murphy and get at the truth, or his version of it.
I’ve always been astonished at Rome, history at your feet, literally. There’s a building I admire because it encapsulates the history of Rome and the various epochs. The foundation is Etruscan and the architectural history of Rome is added and added. Every addition fits harmoniously with what went before.
The great Roman artist, sculptor, architect, VITRUVIUS said:
ALL BUILDINGS MUST BE EXECUTED IN A WAY AS TO TAKE ACCOUNT OF DURABILITY, UTILITY, AND BEAUTY.
The Navona Fountain is insanely brilliant and still pertinent after hundreds of years. There is a strange harmony with the figures that seems to resonate in Gehry’s condos and Dennis’ house.