Frank Gehry’s Edgemar Development (1984)

This is the second time I experienced this early Frank Gehry development in Santa Monica and I was struck by how institutional and cold it looked and felt. For a neighborhood known for its friendly and relaxed architecture, Gehry really made an effort to create an impersonal-seeming shopping/cultural complex.

The most bizarre detail was the chain-like fence that wrapped around one tower like an external skin. It looks like the concept would have of been clever on paper but in person it seems to lack any warmth or sensitivity towards its environment.

The fountain in the courtyard is very corporate. The only stunning aspects of the architectural composition are the two boxes that crown two of the buildings–one glass and the other very reminiscent of Venturi Scott Brown & Assoc.’s House of Benjamin Franklin (1976) with its simple linear frame.

The complex was groundbreaking in that it retained some of the site’s memory as a dairy factory but I always found that point of interest as rather academic and not really informing the real world experience by viewers.

Check out my photos here. Here‘s a YouTube video by some kid who provides some interesting (if academic facts) about the development.

One response to “Frank Gehry’s Edgemar Development (1984)”

Leave a Reply

Latest Posts

A Historic Year of Protests
This past year saw a huge groundswell of support for protests, most notably for Black Lives Matter. Protests for Palestine, Artsakh, and Pride were also some of the other campaigns …
The T**** Presidential Library
(2021) My only question is if hardcore MAGA supporters would hurl themselves into the hole at a certain age, like something out of Logan's Run (1976), as a sign of …
My First Therapist
I took this photograph while leaving my first therapist's office. It was my last appointment. I went to her for 11 years. The first stretch lasted six years, then I …