ALVAR AALTO: FRANK GEHRY KEEPS THE FLAME ALIVE

11/13/2015

 

(detail at Alvar Aalto’s Lappia House)

 

The sold out conversation Frank Gehry At the Parsons Table with Paul Goldberger held last night in Manhattan was inspiring and emotionally uplifting.  At 86 years-old, Gehry was in positive form, deliberating on how jazz and classical music can be reflected in Architecture.  Once again he told the story of how, as a 16 year-old, he sat in a Toronto auditorium listening to a Finnish architect he did not know, fascinated by the curving wood chair on the stage and the serpentine shaped dormitory on the screen.  His recollection was verified years later in Finland when Gehry visited Alvar Aalto’s studio and had them check their records to be sure it was indeed Aalto in Toronto that night in 1946.

In 1967 I visited the newly completed Mount Angel Abbey Library in St. Benedict, Oregon.  I remember the soft sunlight glowing in from above over the curve of the bookstacks on the silent tour I took with my father who later said to me, “Now I understand why you want to try to be an architect.”

Next month it will be a year since my father departed this world at 94 years, 2 months, and 23 days.  The amazing power of Architecture is that it can continue to give its joy of space and light to future generations.

 

S. Holl.