Saturday, November 20, 2010


After watching a documentary on the work of architect Frank Gehry earlier in class this week, I was interested in learning more about his work that of similar architects. I then discovered that much of Gehry's work falls within the style of Deconstructivism. Deconstructivism, also known as DeCon Architecture, is a development of postmodern architecture that emerged in the 1980's as an opposition to the ordered rationality of modernism. "It is characterized by ideas of fragmentation, an interest in manipulating ideas of a structure's surface or skin, non-rectilinear shapes which serve to distort and dislocate some of the elements of architecture, such as structure and envelope." (1) "DeCon" buildings or structures are most commonly described as radical, chaotic, and unpredictable. Simply the main philosophy of deconstructivists is to move architecture away from what its practitioners see as the constricting 'rules' of modernism such as "form follows function," "purity of form," and "truth to materials."

The design of Frank Gehry’s own Santa Monica residence, (from 1978), has been cited as a prototypical deconstructivist building. His starting point was a prototypical suburban house embodied with a typical set of intended social meanings. Gehry altered its massing, spatial envelopes, planes and other expectations in a playful subversion, an act of "de"construction" (2)

Other lead architects of the Deconstructivism movement include  Daniel Libeskind, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Zaha Hadid, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and Bernard Tschumi.