By rule of thumb, as architecture evolves, there are very few architects that ever become well-known for their works. One of the most famous was Frank Lloyd Wright and now there is Frank Gehry, who like him, has always marched to his own drum.
Born on February 28, 1929, in Toronto, Canada he is best known for his postmodern designs including the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao Spain. Gehry attended the University of Southern California and Harvard Graduate School for Design.
He has spent more than half-a-century going against the norm or common form of architecture and is considered a force of nature unto himself. He started his magnificent career working for Victor Gruen Associates and Pereira and Luckman out of Los Angeles. He then spent a short period of time working with Andre Remondet in Paris, France then returned to California and started his own firm. In 1989, he received the Pritzker Prize and since then does not seem to have any limits in his unique designs. Here’s what we think are his top architectural designs from around the world.
The EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington
This was built from an idea in the head of Paul Allen who was the co-founder of Microsoft. The project was completed in 2000 and was inaugurated the “Experience Music Project”. Gehry framed the base of this space needle design to look like a steel and aluminum skin that flaps in the passing by of Seattle’s famous monorail.
The DZ Building In Berlin, Germany
This building was commissioned by DZ Bank & Hines to design a branch that would sit across from the triumphal arch. That said, under the local code in Berlin, it is prohibited that any building or structure outshine the Brandenburg Gate. Frank Gehry took on the project and designed a building with a limestone facade that was subtle. The building houses a stainless steel conference room which sits inside the atrium and is shaped like the head of a horse.
The Peter B. Lewis Building In Cleveland, Ohio
The exterior of this building is classic Gehry with ribbons of stainless steel and spreads out from its brick base. Since 2002, it is home to the Weatherhead School of Management at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. The building’s open interior environment evokes a welcoming appeal.
The Richard B. Fisher Center In Annandale-On-Hudson, New York
Completed in 2001, Gehry’s stainless steel facade looks like a theatrical mask was created for the Performing Arts at the Bard College in New York. Even though he was criticized for not backing sustainability, he incorporated geothermal energy systems and many other green concepts into the building which has made the structure almost completely free of fossil fuels.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall
In 1988, Gehry’s the Walt Disney Concert Hall was on a waiting list to build a new home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It was finally opened in 2003 and everyone from critics to the public believed the building was well worth the wait. Because of Gehry’s love for sailing, the building’s exterior has expanses of stainless steel that billow over Grand Avenue and the interior is home to panels shaped of Douglas fir that line the auditorium.
The Guggenheim Museum In Bilbao, Spain
Upon opening its doors in 1997, the Guggenheim Museum put Bilbao, Spain on the map and, to date, is one of the most visited sites around the world. The exhibition space is a massive elevation of glass, stone, and titanium that was structured to follow the contours of the Nervión River. Although the construction of this building went unnoticed by just about everyone, when the doors opened it was praised the “signal moment in the architectural culture”, This masterpiece secured Gehry’s place in architectural history.
The Davis Studio In Malibu, CA
Six years after starting his architecture firm, Frank Gehry had completed a very important project building the Davis Studio which was also Ron Davis’s home. Although this was not his first project, the design gave him incredible prestige with its slanted roof which made the house seem to rotate or twist. Presently, the home is owned by actor Patrick Dempsey and his family.
The Neuer Zollhof Complex In Dusseldorf, Germany
The Neuer Zollhof Complex is made up of 3 office buildings created by Frank Gehry that turned the waterfront into an amazing harbor that is now called the Media Harbour. These buildings became so popular, that this enticed many other commissions for other architects including Fumihiko Maki and Murphy. The 3 building,s making up Neuer Zollhof, were so popular they have landed a place in history as a spot on the board of the German Edition of Monopoly!
The Chiat/Day Complex In Venice, CA
In 1991, Gehry built the Chiat/Day Complex for an advertising agency for their West Coast Branch. Due to its interesting shape, it is popularly known as the Binocular Building. The building sits on top 3 levels of underground parking garages that can hold up to 300 cars Entry to the parking areas is through the centrally located binoculars. The binoculars also have space for private conferences and research which all connect to the main conference room. There are also 2 rooms that following the shapes of the binoculars and the ceilings are covered with Gehry’s signature snake shape. These rooms were originally designed to serve as retreats. This complex was created in collaboration with Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The building was designed like a ship’s prow and there are 3 tree trunks that flank a sculpture. The main entrance to the building has three elements that complement the surrounding neighboring areas. This complex has become home to 500 Google employees since 2011.