a Centennial celebration of monumental proportions

To celebrate the 1988 centennial of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, the organization commissioned the then emerging architect, Frank Gehry, to design a temporary architectural structure to be placed inside the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Engineered, fabricated, and installed through a collaborative process, the project was one of the first produced by Gehry with Zahner.

Zahner provided the four types of metal panel used to create the 65-foot-high structure: copper, polished brass, galvanized steel, and terne plate. The varying metal types and tones emphasized Gehry’s vision to represent a city in terms of ‘a collage of disparate pieces.’ Each panel, cut to various size, was placed in thoughtful juxtaposition, conveying a sense of organized chaos.

It's like if you threw a bunch of objects into a can. You would still recognize them all.

Frank O. Gehry
Frank gehry 100 anniversary
It's like if you threw a bunch of objects into a can. You would still recognize them all. That's what a city is, a collage of disparate pieces.
— Frank O. Gehry

Zahner engineered, fabricated and installed of this custom sculptural form inside the National Building Museum. The installation was constructed for the Summer of 1988, afterwhich it was dismantled, repurposed and recycled.

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