Current Position: Las Brisas Anchorage, Panama
Date: Saturday 24 July, 2010
Greetings One and All,
These days, for a city with international aspirations, a Frank Gehry designed building is a must have addition to the skyline. Whether it be Prague, Hannover, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, London, Las Vegas, or Bilbao to name just a few, if you’re wanting a building that looks like it’s been through a major earthquake, then Frank’s your man for the job. Just down the road from us in Balboa, another such swirly building is taking shape.
Here’s how it presently looks:
From a little further along the road, it’s a toss up: was it an earthquake or a category 5 hurricane that is responsible for this? (Interestingly, one Gehry project was walloped by Hurricane Katrina during its construction, delaying its completion, in Biloxi Mississippi)
If, like me, you’re having trouble visualizing the finished work, this may help:
Here’s an aerial view:
I can appreciate the architectural, engineering, and artistic challenges of creating a building such as this, I’m just not sure I fully understand why. I was mouthing off in similar fashion to another Australian boater coming back from town the other day as we passed by the construction site, and he commented dryly, ‘Oh, you mean like the Sydney Opera House?’ I conceded the point to him. According to the signs, all the steel beams were pre-cut in Thailand, shipped over to here, and have a 3mm (~1/8″) margin of error/wiggle room…no tape measures on this construction site.
Still further down the road, anchored on the other side of the causeway to us, is an older tourist boat. We were told by a friend, who was told by a taxi driver, that it used to be the boat of Al Capone back in the day. Along with their hats and coats, guests were asked to check their violin cases upon boarding the boat.
Meanwhile, we continue here at Las Brisas, where the wind and rain have kept away all week. Nothing stolen and the only items to end up in the water have been the veggie peelings, immediately devoured by the fish. ‘It’s all good,’ as the saying goes.
Margaret and Moe