Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry

Nicholas Socrates


Frank Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg in 1992. As a child, Gehry was a shy dreamer, the victim of local anti-Semitic Bullies. Eventually, those dreams blossomed into a remarkable career as an internationally renowned architect.

Gehry, founded his own architectural firm in Los Angeles in 1962, and since the building of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, he is among the ranks of international architecture superstars

His buildings are complex constructions, with curves and distortions, skilful plastic shapes which never cease to surprise with their breath-taking spatial effects.

To create these daring designs, Gehry makes extensive use of the latest electronic tools, physical models are transformed into digital models using software and hardware which has been adapted from the space industry and medical research.

Gehry has become the most innovative architect in the world.

Before Frank Gehry acquired international prestige of a star architect, he designed his own house in Santa Monica (1977 – 78). The story starts when his wife, Berta, bought a small pink bungalow in a bourgeois neighbourhood. Gehry decided to redesign what he considered “a dumb little house with charm”, to build around it and try “to make it more important.”

The design was revolutionary and so delightful.

The sweeping curves Le Corbusier used for the Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel influenced Gehry’s later designs.

Le Corbusier, who was also a sculptor, used graceful, sculpted forms in his architecture.

This freedom of using new shapes and forms, in his architecture and paintings inspired Frank Gehry to explore his own daring ides regarding design and materials.

The sweeping curves Le Corbusier used for the Notre – Dame – du –Haut and Ronchamp chapel influenced and convinced Gehry that not every structure had to have straight angels or look “mechanistic”.

Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp Chapel
Le Corbusier’s Paintings
Le Corbusier’s Architecture

Philips Pavilion

‘Poème électronique’, is the first, electronic-spatial environment to combine architecture, film, light and music to a total experience made to function in time and space. Under the direction of Le Corbusier, Iannis Xenaki’s concept and geometry designed the World’s Fair exhibition space adhering to mathematical functions. Edgard Varèse composed the both concrete and vocal music which enhanced dynamic, light and image projections conceived by Le Corbusier.

The Experience Music Project

The Experience Music Project, designed by Frank O. Gehry & Associates, is an exciting blend of exhibititions, technology, media, and hands-on activities that combines the interpretive aspects of a traditional museum, educational role of a school, state-of-the-art research facilities of a specialized library, and audience-drawing qualities of performance venues and popular attractions.

Located on 5th Avenue adjacent to the Space Needle at Seattle Center, the 140,000-square-foot facility celebrates the creativity and innovation of American popular music and culture.

The EMP presents opportunities to explore its history and traditions, participate in the music making process, experience great music, and learn the secrets of composition and performance.

It places a special emphasis on music-related traditions in the Pacific Northwest, and specifically commemorates Jimi Hendrix, one of America’s a most creative, innovative, and influential musical artists.

The building itself consists of a cluster of colourful curving elements clad in a variety of materials. The fragmented and undulating forms are inspired in part by the image of Jimi Hendrix’s shattered Fender Stratocaster.

The Ed. House functions as an educational public outreach program, offering opportunities to learn more about the themes explored in the exhibit areas, experience and participate in a variety of musical activities, and further explore and develop creative abilities and music-related skills.

The Sky Church, a concept inspired by Jimi Hendrix, represents the coming together of all types of people united by the power and joy of music and music making, and is physically embodied in the building’s central public gathering area. Through a series of exhibition spaces; presenting the collision of multiple viewpoints and traditions, of American popular music.

The Sound Lab offers hands-on opportunities to create and illustrate some of the relationships between music, science, and technology. The Artist’s Journey is a compelling history of the life and times of artists, illuminating the human aspect of their artistry and revealing the unexpected events and formative experiences that contributed to their creative development.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, by Frank Gehry;

The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao:

is a modern and contemporary art museum designed by Frank Gehry, built by Ferrovial and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. It is built alongside the Nervion River, which runs through the city of Bilbao to the Atlantic Coast. The Guggenheim is one of several museums belonging to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

The museum features both permanent and visiting exhibits featuring works of both Spanish and international artists.

The curves on the building have been designed to appear random. Gehry says that “the randomness of the curves are designed to catch the light”.

Opened to the public in 1997, it was immediately vaulted to prominence as one of the world’s most spectacular buildings in the style of Deconstructivism. Architect Philip Johnson called it “the greatest building of our time”.

The museum’s design and construction serve as an object lesson in Gehry’s style and method. Like much of Gehry’s other works, the structure consists of radically sculpted, organic contours. Sited as it is in a port town, it is intended to resemble a ship. Its brilliantly reflective titanium panels resemble fish scales, echoing the other organic life (and, in particular, fish-like) forms that recur commonly in Gehry’s designs, as well as the river Nervión upon which the museum sits.

Also in typical Gehry fashion, the building is uniquely a product of the period’s technology. Computer Aided Three Dimensional Interactive Application (CATIA) and visualizations were used heavily in the structure’s design.

Computer simulations of the building’s structure made it feasible to build shapes that architects of earlier eras would have found nearly impossible to construct. It is also important to note that while the museum is a spectacular monument from the river, at street level it is quite modest and does not overwhelm its traditional surroundings. The museum was opened as part of a revitalization effort for the city of Bilbao and for the Basque Country. Almost immediately after its opening, the Guggenheim Bilbao became a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the globe.

It was widely credited with “putting Bilbao on the map” and subsequently inspired other structures of similar design across the globe, such as the Cerritos Millennium Library in Cerritos, California.

The building was constructed on time and budget, which is rare for architecture of this type. In an interview in Harvard Design Magazine.


One Response to “Frank Gehry”

  1. cantueso Says:

    Look out! You say that Gehry was born in 1992. That means he is 18 now.


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