Frank Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Canada on February 28, 2016. His family immigrated to the United States in 1947, where they settled in California. Frank studied at Los Angeles City College and later went on to graduate from the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. In 1989, Gehry was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Frank Gehry has been dubbed one of the world’s most notable architects. Gehry’s style is sometimes said to seem unfinished and with a crude asthetic, usually from his pick of materials including corrugated metals and unusual materials. But, then he can shake it up and prove what a classical artist he can be. Look up his 1988 exhibit at New York’s Whitney Museum. Below, we will take a look at seven of his most innovative designs to date.
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis
The Weisman Art Museum sits on the campus of the University of Minnesota and was completed in 1993. The museum is named after Frederick R. Weisman who was a well-known art collector in Los Angeles. The building itself is a stainless steel material that was fabricated and installed by A. Zahner Company, used frequently by Frank Gehry’s office. This design won Gehry the Progressive Architecture Design Award in 1991.
The Olympic Fish Pavillion, Barcelona
Gehry was commissioned to create this sculpture for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The sculpture is a golden steel-mesh and very clearly resembles a goldfish. Why a fish? It is said that the fish is a frequently recurring motif in Gehry’s work, serving as a mascot or even inspiration. The sculpture sits in a retail complex that was designed by the Gehry Partners.
Dancing House, Prague
The Dancing House, originally called Fred and Ginger after the famous dancer Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers because the house resembles a pair of dancers. The house is rarely referred to as Fred and Ginger now-a-days. The Dancing House is just another of Gehry’s unusual architectural designs. The style is called deconstructivist due to the unusual shape. The shape of the building is on a gold Czech coin issued by the Czech National Bank. The coin is in a series called “Ten Centuries of Architecture”.
Peter B. Lewis, Cleveland
The Peter B. Lewis Building is part of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. The building is an architectural landmark in the neighborhood. The brick building is almost wrapped with sheets of stainless steel ribbon. This building is indeed another great by one of the greatest, most unique architects of our time.
Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas
He does it again. Here is another masterpiece by Mr. Gehry. This time in Las Vegas, the construction began in 2007 and opened for business in 2010. It is estimated that this project cost $100 million to complete the 65,000 square foot building. The concept was that of Larry Ruvo, a Las Vegas entrepreneur whose own father died of Alzheimer’s. I can’t think of a better architect to work with on a concept such as this.
Biomuseo, Panorama City
The Biodiversity Museum: Panama Bridge of Life is Gehry’s first design for Latin America. Gehry donated this design to the people of Panama. His wife is Panamanian. The building began in late 2004 and was originally set to be completed in 2011. After many set-backs, the museum finally opened in October 2014.
Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago
Gehry was commissioned to design the Pavilion in April 1999 and officially opened on July 16, 2004. Named after Jay Pritzker whose family is known for owning Hyatt Hotels, the Pavilion is also home to the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. The Grant Park Music Festival is also held here, the only free outdoor classical music series remaining in the United States.