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Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Clubhouse, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Friday 29 Jan 2010

Gehry's round

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Clubhouse, Saadiyat Island by Gehry Partners LLP in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
(c) Gehry Partners 
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Clubhouse, Saadiyat Island by Gehry Partners LLP in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Clubhouse, Saadiyat Island by Gehry Partners LLP in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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09/02/10 Richard Cook, Johannesburg
Gehry's work comfortably helps us forget our purpose as Architects.

This building does not make the built environment intelligible. It does not narrate a history or even a short story of its subject matter. It does not carry the symbolism of its culture. It doesn't help me understand anything, nor mystify me.

It simply decorates the landscape, rising to no legible challenges, offering no trace of its origins. It is very expensive jewelry left out in the desert.
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03/02/10 Thomas H. Carien, Jefferson
Spectacular design but complex as hell with no way to make a coherent understanding of what is going on here, until 2013 that is. The photography is awful but otherwise worth pursuing to see what else is contained in this structure or combination of structures. Hopefully, when it is completed, Gehry can find a qualified photographer to give it the visual credit it deserves. So far, the model looks exciting. It should attract the glitzy crowd who claim to be golfers among other things, and hopefully when the economy recovers, will host the real pros in major tournements.
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02/02/10 Kees, Hobart
Gehry's work proves that novelty is the driving force of architectural design. Sure, buildings should look good but they also need to function. Perhaps his client's functional requirements are so simple, or unimportant, that form is the only thing they care about. I guess there are enough clients with very deep pockets to whom having a Gehry building is the only thing that matters.
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02/02/10 David Andreozzi, Barrington, RI
The next Newport Country Club or Shinnecock Hills? No... simple sculpture! I love traditional and modern alike. Some of my best friends are sculptors, but I don’t believe that sculpture filled with program should be called architecture.
I love the fact that the press keeps enabling this regurgitated archetype as great architecture when it has nothing to do with its individual vernacular, any historic tie to the building purpose, or any dialog with the history of the buildings purpose, a golf club house. <p>

I don't blame Gehry, I commend you. Everyone has the right find a mark and make a buck! I blame the press for celebrating this as something it is not. Perhaps Niki, you need to reintroduce yourself to Vitruvian’s ultimate synthesis: commodity firmness and delight.
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Abu Dhabi's new premier golf course gets Gehry Clubhouse 

Hit the ball too hard at Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and you could lose it forever in the twists and curves of the planned Frank Gehry-designed Clubhouse. Revealed at the opening of the club this week the 18,000 sq m clubhouse addition is set to add to the project's already high esteem fuelled by its designer, one of the most successful golfers of all time - Gary Player.

The clubhouse is 80 year old Gehry's first golf-related project, and will be the centrepiece of Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the Arabian Gulf’s first and only beachfront course. Situated on Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island it weaves in and out of nine five-star hotels lining the beach with one-third of the course commanding spectacular views of the Gulf’s waters and white sands. “We wanted someone who could push design boundaries to create visual architecture that makes bold statements. Frank Gehry ticks that box emphatically,” said Ahmed Hussein, COO of the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and deputy director general of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.

“A truly world-class course, designed by the world’s most successful golfer of all time, in the heart of one of Arabia’s most breathtaking natural settings, deserves an outstanding clubhouse that sets the benchmark globally. Frank’s unique design philosophy will form the centrepiece of this spectacular project and will serve to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a sought-after destination on the international golfing map.”

Scheduled to complete in 2013 Gehry's addition will include a boutique hotel with 26 deluxe rooms, two restaurants, a spa and a pro-shop and is designed to meet Estidama regulations, the Abu Dhabi-specific building sustainability methodology. “We are just at the beginning of the detailed design of the clubhouse and are very pleased with the progress thus far," said Gehry. "The design is intended to be an ephemeral mirage floating above the greens."

The project is a welcome boost for Gehry who suffered two major setbacks last year when his plans for LA’s Grand Avenue and Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards were dropped and he was forced to lose half his staff in the recession.

Niki May Young
News Editor

Key Facts

Status Detailed design process
Value 0(m€)
Gehry Partners LLP

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