Catacresis of architecture | Marcelo Gardinetti

Frank Gehry’s work is deliberately singular. One declares in favour of the representation of a confused and disintegrated environment that it reflects his own vision of the city. His buildings countersign these characters by means of the assembly of dissimilar, fragmented, decorative elements, foreign to any established order. It uses of visual ambiguities, colors and textures to compose the objet trouvé who identifies his particular language. This idea of architecture crystallizes textually in his recent work for the Museum of the Biodiversity of Panama.

Gehry raises this work removed from any reference. On an irregular area it mounts a structure of grouped, irregular and colouring planes that represents the spontaneity of the natural forces. But in addition it puts in evidence the aim of those who formalized the order, which they sought to catch the attention of the tourists raising an atypical, showy and polemic object. For this occupation, Gehry’s work is exact.

Biodiversity Museum of Panama ©Victoria Murillo

The museum is an indeterminate object. Externally, I dress from any angle, the building raises a conclusive uncertainty. A path introduces the visitor from the street up to a site that formulates a clear ambiguity to accede to the building: to enter below the colouring apilamientos to the court of ground floor or across a stairs to the traffic of the first level. Other accesses without hierarchy are in several parts of the perimeter. Two opposite ramps cross the central porch joining the bay with the channel.

In the interior, the museum is focused from a central space of square plant established as a public square that links spatially both levels. Four columns of concrete raise the cover to 30 meters of the soil, establishing the hierarchy of the square for on the rest of the rooms. A series of ethereal solidary structures constructs the base of support of the planes of untid colors that complete the cover.

The central court establishes the beginning of the walk. This space of exchange constitutes in one of those of few geometric definite forms. On his extension there are distributed 16 columns that show the relations between the human activity and the natural scenes of Panama. There come together radialmente in him eight galleries that are constituted in agreement by the content that they lodge, though affecting ignorance this criterion several rooms repeat the chaotic character of the exterior.

The radial form of the museum forces the visitor to happen for the court to enter to every room. The nearest to the access, the Room of the Biodiversity is dominated by a transparent plane that allows to visualize from the street the interior activity. The ramp of the life shows the abundance and variety of life of the land. The Panamarama is a projection space of three heights. Constructing the bridge it exhibits rocks of 14 meters of height that represent the forces of the land that formed the isthmus. Divided oceans it shows in two semicylindrical aquariums the evolution of the species after the division of the sea taking place. The Room of the interdependence exhibits the forms of competition of the alive beings. Finally, Panama is the museum shows the relations between the biodiversity of Panama and the world.

Interior of the Biodiversity Museum of Panama ©Biomuseo

Panama was constituted by a group of islands that it does three million years they joined product of the volcanic processes to establish the current geography. The museum of the biodiversity represents this process.

The characteristics formulated by Gehry’s work establish an atmosphere of unnecessary uncertainty. The forms instituted in the exterior crystallize a sculptural image which only attainable purpose proves to increase the confusion of the urban environment. The variety of tensions and visual ambiguities that take place inside the museum they impede the attention on the exposed elements, exegesis of an informality that alone justifies itself in the obsession of imposing a particular condition to the work.

Like conclusion, the characteristics narrated with regard to the Museum of Frank Gehry’s Biodiversity allow us to infer that for this work the name of architecture turns out to be only a catacresis.

Marcelo Gardinetti . architect

La Plata. may 2013

Marcelo Gardinetti

No voy a hablar de la penumbra, mejor voy a ver si puedo despertar.

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