Architecture & Design

New World Center is Kick-Ass Architecture, But Performance Hall Comes Across as Tacky

By now, it's well established that the New World Center is a pretty kick-ass piece of architecture. Frank Gehry's latest work has enchanted critics the world over with its restrained exterior and bizarrely beautiful, white-washed interior.

But are we the only ones who think the concert hall itself is... um... a little tacky?

First, there's the wood stage and staircases that, in a $160 million building, somehow manage to come across as cheap looking.

Then there's the striped white paneling that looks more like vinyl siding than new age sound insulation.

Last but not least hideous are the speckled pastel blue and sea foam-colored seats on all sides of the stage.

"They remind me of a hotel," one visitor said. Not the luxury kind, we're guessing. Even Gehry himself joked about the seats.

"When (acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota) picked the color of the seats, I was a little scared," he said during a press tour of the performance hall on Tuesday. "But they do work. You are in Miami."

We'll leave that to you to decide. Below are some pics:


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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.