Tag: Frank Gehry

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Funky Friday: The Funkiest Hotel By the Funkiest Architect Ever

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  Site Where: Calle Torrea 1, Elciego, Alava, Spain, 01340
February 28, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | ()

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

There are many definitions of the word “funky”, ranging from a musical genre to less than pleasant smells. The Urban Dictionary, however, offers one that we like, “different, but cool, nice.” There are many hotels that qualify for this adjective and we are happy to give them due consideration. Today we revisit one undeniably funky hotel, Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed by the man who invented funky architecture, Frank Gehry, who is 85 years old today.

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The Jolie-Pitts Stay Over at Frank Gehry's Marques de Riscal

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  Site Where: Calle Torrea, 1, Elciego, Spain
June 25, 2007 at 5:24 PM | by | ()

Brad Pitt is practically BFF with Frank Gehry so it's no surprise to us that Pitt and his lady, Angelina Jolie shacked up at the Gehry-designed Marques de Riscal while visiting Spain. We even bet that Brangelina got comped for their stay. And some good news for the hotel babysitters---Brad and Angie left the kids behind in Prague.

Related Stories:
· Brad and Angelina jet off for a weekend away [Pitt Watch]

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Frank Gehry's Weird Titanium Hotel Roof Entices Us

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  Site Where: Calle Torrea 1, Elciego, 01340, Spain
March 5, 2007 at 12:12 PM | by | ()

Architects with really "out there" ideas must be hated by engineers and drafters, but we love 'em. Frank Gehry, the man behind Spain's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, has done it again by designing a spooky wave of a structure that's also a luxury hotel, described well in a recent LA Times review as looking "more like a preliminary, freehand sketch than a finished building".

This highly non-standard building is in fact the Hotel Marques De Riscal, located 75 miles south of Bilbao in vineyard country. It's one of those hotels where you almost wouldn't mind if the bed was uncomfortable or the food cold, because just living inside such a building is the key part of the experience, as in the reviewer's own guest room:

When the curtains part at the push of a button, you see a picture window with angular contours, erratically tilted panes and a zigzagging window seat. The undercarriage of the roof, wrapped in pink, gold and silver titanium ribbons, is visible in the foreground.

According to her, the food isn't cold and the service is actually great, although not everybody who's stayed there so far agrees. After admiring the titanium ribbon of a roof (sourced, incidentally, in Russia and Australia!), you can enjoy excellent local wines in the bar, spoil yourself at the Caudalie Vinothérapie spa (all treatments based on grapes--really!), or indulge on tasty Rioja-style food--the hotel restaurant gets advice from Michelin-star chef Francis Paniego, although their website tries to make it sound like the restaurant itself owns the star.

And while the Marques De Riscal is kind of in the middle of nowhere, this particular nowhere probably has enough pretty landscapes plus good wineries with plenty to eat and drink to keep you occupied for a couple of days.

Photo: Adrian Taylor/Starwood Hotels

Related Stories:
· Hotel Marques De Riscal reviews [TripAdvisor]
· Gehry's First Hotel Sparkles in Rioja Alavesa [LA Times]
· Frank Gehry, Under the Influence [HotelChatter]

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Frank Gehry, Under the Influence

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  Site Where: Calle Torrea, 1, Elciego, Elciego, Spain
October 17, 2006 at 2:15 PM | by | ()

It may be one of the oldest tricks in the book: using wine to seduce someone your way. Apparently it worked with architect Frank Gehry.

At 82 years of age, Gehry is no new kid but he's still one of the world's best architects, holding Bilbao's Guggenheim to his name among many others to boast. Now he can add the Marques de Riscal to that list, an old winery in Spain's Rioja region. Not wanting to take on the project initially, the winery owners did what they do best, lured him in with their passionate red elixir:

At first, the Canadian-born architect did not want to tackle the small winery project because it would have required many flights from his base in Los Angeles. Then the winery owners took Gehry to the oldest cellar, called "the cathedral," where bottles dating from 1862 are stored. After a 1929 vintage -- Gehry's birth year -- he warmed to the project.

"It was very good, and after a few glasses I accepted," the 82-year-old Gehry told Spain's El Mundo newspaper.

Thanks to the wine, a hotel was born. The winery's original architecture (essentially a 19th shanty) is now met with Gehry's "pink, gold and silver titanium ribbons" that shade a sandstone hotel building and pull and reflect the sun. Along with 43 hi-tech amenity-loaded suites overlooking the vineyards, more additions came with a spa, restaurant, exhibition room and tasting area.

One thing is sure: we know we'll be hitting up the tasting room first to find out what this old wine may inspire us to do.

Related Stories:
· Spain inaugurates new Gehry-designed hotel at celebrated old winery [Seattle Times]
· Marques de Riscal Reviews [TripAdvisor]