Frank Gehry: I like Swedish architecture

Frank Gehry: I like Swedish architecture
Frank Gehry, the architect behind world-famous buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, has joined the debate about the future of Swedish architecture, following an article published last week in The Local.

In the article, architect Rahel Belatchew Lerdell, who has designed Kungsbroskrapan, a proposed skyscraper intended for the city centre, argues that Stockholm needs to rediscover a more daring architectural style. She quoted Gehry, who had described Sweden as “a country that will never create architecture of any significance. You have a society in which nothing can be built to stick out.”

After reading Belatchew Lerdell’s article, Gehry got in touch with The Local to put the record straight.

“Indeed my quote about Swedish architecture seemed very arrogant and I apologize for it,” he wrote. But, he said: “I don’t think I said it in an arrogant tone.”

“I, of course, know the work of [Swedish architects] Asplund and Lewerentz and I enjoy very much coming to Stockholm – your culture is extraordinary and beautiful.

“It’s kind of like Canada now, there seems not to be a constituency for new architecture like there is in Europe and the U.S. I was just wondering out loud about your social patterns in which you tend to be like the Canada I come from and love.

“There is more of a community identity rather than an individual identity. I was raised on that and share in that. But it does raise the question – can architecture evolve out of that? There are examples of it certainly, such as the Greek islands, where there is a consensus that led to a style that was strong and beautiful,” Gehry wrote.