Detail View: Archivision Base to Module 9: American Center

Preferred Title: 
American Center
Alternate Title: 
Cinémathèque Française
Image View: 
Close view of the upper area, depicting collision of forms
Creator: 
Frank Owen Gehry (American architect, born 1929)
Location: 
site: Paris, Île-de-France, France
Location Note: 
51, rue de Bercy
Date: 
1994 (creation)
Cultural Context: 
American
Style Period: 
Postmodern
Work Type 1: 
mixed-use development
Classification: 
architecture
Material: 
limestone; steel; glass; zinc
Technique: 
construction (assembling)
Subjects: 
architectural exteriors; contemporary (1960 to present); Art museums
Description: 
Now the home of the Cinémathèque Française, the largest archive of films, movie documents, and film-related objects in the world. The architecture of the building might be best understood against the backdrop of Gehry's struggles to build the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (roughly concurrent with the timeline of this project) and his eventual triumph at Bilbao. If Bilbao's is definitively exuberant, the American Center's geometry seems almost indeterminate--sometimes masterful, other times awkward and circumstantial. Part of this encompasses a struggle to square irregular geometry with ordinary office space (which made up a substantial portion of the program). This illustrates the intermediate step that this building represents (somewhere between Disney and Bilbao) in the development of a workable process to translate irregular designs into material existence. (Source: Galinsky [website]; http://www.galinsky.com/)
Collection: 
Archivision Base Collection
Identifier: 
1A1-GF-AC-A3
Rights: 
© Scott Gilchrist, Archivision, Inc.