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“Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should”

“Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should." Those were the words of one of the senior members of my design jury in architecture school after I had presented what I thought was a leading-edge free form building that solved, or so I thought, the problem we had been assigned in class.

His words echoed through my head when I saw, first the models and then the construction, of the Frank Gehry designed Luma Arles arts center in Arles, France that was published in Arch Daily. The building is part of a six-building renovation and reconstruction of an industrial facility abandoned in 1980s. This building, according to ArchDaily, is constructed on an abandoned rail yard in Arles.

The Gehry design is quite striking and exhibits the latest in façade decoration that is one of the latest unique designs sweeping through design studios around the world. The design of this building brings to mind another one of those concepts famous among developers and GCs: “Many designers carry around their latest ideas in their sketchbooks and look for an owner who will use the design for their next project whether it is appropriate or not.”

We are eagerly awaiting the opening of the facility in the Spring of 2020 so that we can see how the “form follows the function” of the spaces and whether the interior atrium space reflects the aluminum clad exterior as well as the exterior reflects the mountains that surround Arles.