Survey of Art History 202
It is incredibly ironic that I would pick this
topic for my presentation because I prefer
things in my life to be symmetrical, almost to a
fault. However, I wanted to pick an art style
that I don’t necessarily understand so that I can
learn to appreciate other styles.
Deconstructivist architects deliberately disturb
traditional architectural assumptions about
harmony, unity, and stability to create a
decentered piece of architecture. In other
words, a piece of art that probably doesn’t have
clean lines, and defies what I would consider
normal logic when creating something.
Deconstructivism is not limited to just
architecture, but to other things in our everyday
lives. The design of the newest Mac Pro from
Apple Inc. strays far from the normal design of a
desktop computer. The crazy hats that super
models wear during their catwalks in Milan is
deconstructivism at work.
However, for my presentation I will limit the focus
to buildings, and in the following slides I will
present to you buildings that exemplify an artist’s
creation of decentered (crazy?) pieces of
Exhibit A – A Masterful Creation That Looks Like A Ship At Port
• The Guggenheim Museum
immediately draws comparison
to a large ship that represents
Spain’s history in the shipping
industry. The museum is
nestled in the Bay of Biscay
which further encompasses the
look of a ship.
• Gehry was chosen to design this
building because he known for
his unorthodox designs yet
staying true to the area that his
designs will ultimately be
• The building is made of
steel, and depending on the
time of day, viewers are
presented with gold or silver
Frank O. Gehry (Canadian)
1929 – Present
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Exhibit B – The Coolest Fire Station On Earth
• The Vitra Fire Station is said to
create a feeling of speed that is
appropriate to a building that
houses a fire station. To me, the
building looks like it will fall
over because none of the wall
appear to interconnect.
Obviously this is my discomfort
with things that aren’t
linear, and the masterful design
• Unlike the Guggenheim
Museum that really fills the
space that it sits on, the Vitra
Fire Station manages to give the
illusion of taking up little space.
This was accomplished by the
use of overlapping linear walls.
Zaha Hadid (Iraq)
1950 – Present
The Vitra Fire Station
Weil am Rhein, Germany
Exhibit C – Home Of Your Arizona Cardinals!
• The University of Phoenix Stadium
is home to the National Football
League’s Arizona Cardinals. Living
in Arizona during the construction of
the oval shaped building, I was able
to hear first hand all of the snarky
comments that were made about it.
It was referred to by names like a
trash can and a donut. However, the
funniest and most common reference
to the stadium is the “toilet bowl”. I
have to admit, I think it looks like a
really cool space ship
• Where the visual design may have
not been that well received, the
innovation in the building is second
to none. The football field has
natural grass that slides outside of
the stadium to receive both natural
light, and allow for other events to
occur inside the stadium. In
addition, the stadium boasts that
there is not one seat that has an
obstructed view of the playing field.
Peter Eisenman (American)
1932 – Present
The University of Phoenix Stadium
Phoenix, Arizona USA
Exhibit D – The Launching Pad
• The CMA CGM Headquarters
is tall building measuring
94,000 meters in height. The
building is interesting to me in
that it slightly wider at the
base, but lines of the building
give the illusion that the
building is shooting straight up.
Too me the building almost
contorts then shoots straight up.
The buildings assent represents
the hustle and bustle around
• The top of the building is dare I
say almost normal
looking, which of course is in
stark contrast to the lower
portion of the building. I
suppose this is kind of a best of
both worlds design. A little bit
of craziness with a pinch of
1950 – Present
CMA CGM Headquarters
Exhibit E – An Amazingly Selfless Act Of Architectural Genious
• This is the 3rd of ten Maggie’s
Centre's constructed. Maggie
commissioned these hospitals
for cancer patients to go for
treatment in a soothing
environment. Gehry went
through 70 models before
deciding on this design to
insure that he adhered to the
soothing feelings that Maggie
• The focus of the building is the
tall tower that represents a
lighthouse. The roof was
described as a shawl worn by a
woman that Gehry saw in a
picture that included Maggie. I
found it really cool that there
are no gutters on this
structure, rather the roof design
allows for the water to run off
into the ground to water the
surrounding grassy hill.
Frank O. Gehry (Canadian)
1929 – Present
Maggie’s Centre Ninewells NHS Hospital
"A HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE - DECONSTRUCTIONISM." A HISTORY OF
ARCHITECTURE - DECONSTRUCTIONISM. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014.
"Maggie's Centre Ninewells NHS Hospital - Gehry Partners, LLP." Maggie's Centre Ninewells
NHS Hospital - Gehry Partners, LLP. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014.
"Stadium." News RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2014.
Stokstad, Marilyn, and Michael Watt Cothren. Fourteenth to seventeenth century art. 4th
ed., Portable ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. Print.
"Zaha Hadid Architects." Zaha Hadid Architects CMA CGM Headquarters Comments. N.p., n.d.
Web. 8 May 2014. <http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/cma-cgm-headquarters/>.
"Zaha Hadid Architects." Zaha Hadid Architects Vitra Fire Station Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 8
May 2014. <http://www.zaha-hadid.com/architecture/vitra-fire-station-2/>.