• All About Frank

    14 February 2011

    Hong Kong practice Marc & Chantal Design joined forces with Swire Properties to produce an informative yet creatively stimulating experience for Frank Gehry’s first exhibition in China, recently concluded in Beijing. 

    Parallel to their open-book philosophy of design, Marc & Chantal worked hand-in-hand with Swire to create a journey through the innovative mind of architect, Gehry, collectively planning to effectively communicate the man’s unique creative process. The result was a comprehensive look into the architectural journey that this world-renowned architect adheres to. 

    Set in the progressive Sanlitun Village in Beijing, the design of the exhibition is very much in-line with Gehry’s craftsman-like approach. Inspired by Gehry’s hands-on philosophy, Marc & Chantal merged display cases made from wafer board, industrial concrete floors and ceilings with exposed piping to establish a workshop-inspired ambiance. 

    From a cultural perspective, as a society hungry for progression, the people of Beijing fully embraced the work-in-progress concept, fulfilling the exhibition goal of showing creativity as a process, not an off-the-shelf product. This shift in thinking reflects the new directions in which the country is facing. Generally speaking, the idea that creativity is time honed is a relatively new concept in China, thus the exhibition served as an educational tool and not simply a tribute to a great architect. 

    Working from the inside out, Marc & Chantal took a holistic approach when designing all exhibition contents. The designers meticulously worked to create graphics for the identity, written and visual communication materials such as promotional signage, brochures, advertising, website, and multimedia. For the graphic identity, the team applied a sleek, metallic palette of charcoal, black and hints of red, serving as an effective contrast to the raw, unfinished materials applied to the exhibition interior. 

    On the first floor of the exhibition, visitors were introduced to Gehry through a comprehensive timeline of his past projects, and were given an initial reminder of his groundbreaking designs with a handmade model of one of architecture’s most celebrated works, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. 

    A selection of Gehry’s most recognised works with descriptive text panels as well as a series of models were located on the second and third floors. The fourth floor was dedicated to Gehry’s first residential project in Asia, 53 Stubbs Road in Hong Kong.

    The development is a collaboration with Swire Properties and is due for completion in 2012.  Attendees could also see Gehry’s conceptual design and 3D models for Swire Properties’ Proposed Hong Kong Museum. 

    As this exhibition explained Gehry’s work through the exploration of his creative design process, it was Marc & Chantal and Swire’s goal to create an experience that was as visually inspiring as it was educational. For further information contact Marc & Chantal Design or Swire Properties.


    Natural and Organic: Red Dunes Playtopia Video credit: CHENIN Studio

    World Architecture Festival 2022 took place in Lisbon, the 2023 edition will be held from 29 Nov - 1 Dec at Singapore.


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