"Not beauty, or ugliness, either, but a disturbing kind of satisfaction." Philip Johnson
Think of a watershed as a river's neighborhood;
the running stream, a kind of architecture--
Find the stream that forms the watershed in which you live;
hear the water running (if it is frozen, listen through the ice).
The architect finds such harmony
in the precise moment a corner is designed--
tension, productivity, and grace.
Running water, then silence, then water running.
The architect Frank Gehry achieves
a "double sense of space"; like a watershed,
his buildings are formed by what flows in and out--
Follow the stream, run the watershed,
chase the flash-and-glamour of fish scales
underwater: spawning entire new dynamics of space.
The way a storm moving through a valley
redirects energy back into a stream.
Gehry asked himself, "Why not do fish?"
A lasting design, form linked to function.
So he did fish. Fish scale chairs, fish lamps.
And then buildings, buildings
that seemed to swim around their own corners, seemed to spawn.
Scale the banks, river walls, riverrun
--erosion and construction--
titanium trapezoids billowing at the end of Bilbao's streets,
more like spun-sugar than shaped metal.
Run the river toward something.
There's tension in productivity and grace.
Perhaps this double sense of space is sense of place:
No matter where we are, we are always in a watershed.
(For Frank Gehry)