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Frank Gehry says 98% of buildings are 'pure s**t'

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi architect gives forthright view at event in Spain

Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images.
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images.

Frank Gehry had a few harsh words for a reporter who recently asked how he responds to critics who say he practices ‘flashy architecture’ at a press conference in Oviedo, Spain.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi architect is on record for having replied with: “Let me tell you one thing. In this world we are living in, 98% of everything that is built and designed today is pure s**t. There’s no sense of design, no respect for humanity or for anything else. They are damn buildings and that’s it.

“Once in a while, however, there’s a small group of people who do something special. Very few. But good god, leave us alone! We are dedicated to our work. I don’t ask for work. I don’t have a publicist. I’m not waiting for anyone to call me. I work with clients who respect the art of architecture. Therefore, please don’t ask questions as stupid as that one.”

The 85-year-old architect, who was there to receive Prince of Asturias Awards for the Arts, followed up the response by flashing the journalist his middle finger.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019