Hennessy X.O x Frank Gehry – Where Spirits and Architecture Collide

What’s not to like about cognac? It’s like liquid sophistication–particularly Hennessy, a brand that’s been around long enough to know a thing or two about aging gracefully. The venerable cognac brand is 150 years old this year, and to celebrate that heritage, they teamed with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to produce limited edition packaging and a masterpiece carafe that steals your breath–even as the cognac steals your sobriety.

About Frank Gehry

If you haven’t heard of Frank Gehry, you’ve at least probably seen his buildings. He designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, and the Cinematheque Francaise in Paris. You get what we are saying. This is the guy the artists go to when they want a building that is as inspiring, eye-catching, and transcendent as the art that goes inside it.

As an architect, Gehry eschews hewing too closely to any one architectural style. However, if you had to pin us down, we’d say his work combines elements of deconstructivism, modernism, and the California Funk Art movement. Or, at least, Wikipedia would say that. We’d just tell you that his buildings are crazy-cool. Some of them look like they are melting, some of them appear to be falling over or swaying sideways, and many of them are made of highly reflective stainless steel. Quite frankly, some of these designs boggle the mind. If you don’t believe us, look some up. We recommend starting with the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada, and going down the Google wormhole from there.hennessy x.o x frank gehry

The Inspiration

As he started designing for Hennessy, Frank Gehry’s first step was to study the original Hennessy bottle and graphics to synthesize the curves, colors, and rich play of light through the amber liquid. From there, the architect’s powerful mind and attunement to curves set to work. He drew inspiration from flavors of Hennessy X.O in addition to the Charente River (a waterway that runs through the vineyards where Hennessy sources its grapes).

“It’s a compelling notion to me that you could transmit emotions through an inert material,” says Gehry in a promo film found on Hennessy’s website. This ethos is reflected in all of Gehry’s buildings and the decanter, he designed for Hennessy.

The Realization

The finished product is a glorious bottle wrapped in crinkled bronze, then dipped in 24 carrot gold. The result is a surface that flows and sparkles, catching and reflecting light in unique and utterly beautiful ways. The bottle is surrounded by a spray of quartz-like glass, which acts as both a contrast and an enhancement to the decanter, drawing the eye in and giving it a welcome escape once the refracted, liquid-like surface becomes too much beauty to bear.hennessy x.o x frank gehry

The Buy

And, well, you can’t really buy the Masterpiece decanter. (We don’t know where it is, but we know you can’t buy it from the website.) But you can buy the Hennessy X.O X Frank Gehry Limited Edition bottle, which comes in a gorgeous gift box. The bottle is all smooth gold and amber hues, while the gift box is a work of art unto itself. The front is encased in a rippled, semi-transparent glass face, which allows glimpses of the golden bottle to reveal through the textured surface.

If you drop by the Hennessy website, you can enter your zip code, and it will give you the location of the specialty shop nearest you that carries the Frank Gehry Limited Edition bottle. Our closest store had it for $220, which we think isn’t bad for what is, essentially, a work of art!

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