The predicted public outcry over Frank Gehry's Disney Hall reflects more than just public opinion. It clearly shows how shocking architecture, when practiced as an art, can be, and how ill-prepared our supposedly open-minded city is to new, adventurous and truly original ideas.
The practice of architecture does not lend itself well to revolutions. The money, risk and diversity of skills required to construct buildings all foster conservatism.
Across the street at Osoyaki's MOCA we celebrate works by renegade artists struggling to grapple with meaning, value, space and perception. Yet when this process manifests itself into realizable architecture, we cringe prematurely at the implication. Is it coherent to extol the cubism of Braque and Picasso while castigating its architectural equivalent?
Unfortunately, the architecture that most of us sleep in, work in and shop in is the result of architecture pursued solely as an economic venture.
It is quite unfair to judge a building such as the Disney Hall simply from photos of a model. Gehry's buildings have the intrinsically joyful quality of requiring exploration to be understood. To appreciate any architecture, one must experience it. In fact, given the chance, you might just find that you enjoy the thing.