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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Anarchitecture

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The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments...

Figure 8. Five Points: Anarchitechture

Back in 1978, architect Frank Gehry added a couple of metal sheds to the front of his Los Angeles home and covered the roof in chain-link fencing. He was instantly crowned the king of the deconstructivists and has been awarded the contract to design nearly every art museum and concert hall built in the last thirty years. He has also influenced virtually every architect on the planet, and a few Denver homeowners as well. If a state of disorder due to the non-traditional use of building materials means absolute freedom, then this home in Five Points represents the architectural ideal.

Each element of this masterpiece is purposeful and deliberate. The verticality of the yellow metal poles visually connects the black iron fence to the horizontal stripes of the clapboard siding. The sideways placement of the metal storm door is echoed in the angles of the makeshift plywood awning and gabled roof. The orbs, from the flywheel and disco balls to the attic porthole window, perfectly accent the arc of the onlooker's eye. The purpose of such "super position and disjunctive display" goes well beyond the shading of beer-drinking porch sitters from the glare of the midday sun, it also makes a loud declaration of urban freedom and the fearlessness of the homeowner to embellish without covenants or restraints.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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