Frank Gehry – Hans Scharoun: Strong Resonances highlights the interplay between architecture and the city, between extraordinary interior spaces and innovative exterior facades, and between architectural design and musical performance. Central to this exhibition, is the work of architects Frank Gehry and Hans Scharoun. While Scharoun never visited the Southern California metropolis, his influence is apparent in the design approaches and architectural forms of the Los Angeles-based designer Frank Gehry. Strong Resonances explores the connections between these architects and cities using architectural models, plans, drawings, sketches and photographs, and considers these connections from two perspectives: the direct comparison of two of Scharoun’s and Gehry’s most well-known works and a review of Gehry’s projects in and for Berlin.
The exhibition begins by commemorating the sister-city partnership between Los Angeles and Berlin in a display that examines two buildings that have captured the public imagination and become iconic features of the urban landscape of both cities: the Berlin Philharmonic (1960–63) designed by Hans Scharoun and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (1999–2003) designed by Frank Gehry. These two concert halls are explored through rarely seen watercolors, plans, original sketches, photographs and an expansive display of architectural models. The similarities as well as differences between Scharoun’s and Gehry’s approaches are foregrounded through an analysis of their design processes. The significance of Scharoun’s practice on Gehry is clearly evident, as is the importance of both musical venues on the urban landscape and cultural history of each city.
Another section of the exhibition investigates more closely the indelible influence of Hans Scharoun and of the city of Berlin on Frank Gehry, focusing on Gehry’s three designs for the German capital: his Museum Island competition entry (1994–97), the DZ Bank at Pariser Platz 3 (1994–98), and most recently, Pierre Boulez Hall at the Barenboim-Said Akademie (2014–17).
Strong Resonances traces parallels between the ideas and working processes of Scharoun and Gehry, demonstrating the remarkable resonances between two world-renowned architects in two world-class cities.