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Frank Gehry Architecture: The Most Expressive Genius of Deconstructivism

21.07.2021
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frank gehry the most famous buildings

Frank Gehry is the author of all the most daring in modern energy, the winner of the Pritzer’s program. He builds guided buildings, designs cardboard furniture and Frank Gehry artwork, does not use computer programs, considers fish to be the image of perfection, and shows the middle finger to critics. Therefore, today we are pleased to present Frank Gehry the most famous buildings. But first, let’s find out more about Frank Gehry biography:

The History of the Formation of a Famous Architect

Who is Frank Gehry? Frank Gehry was born in the Canadian capital Toronto on February 28, 1929. His real name is Ephraim Owen Goldberg. Later, the architect’s first wife insisted on a name change due to attacks by anti-Semites.

As a child, Gehry spent a lot of time in his father’s hardware store. In the backrooms of the store, whole cities and buildings grew out of everything that came to hand to the future architect. The main elements of the buildings, both now and then, were various metal parts.

Closer to 17, Frank moved to Los Angeles and was already thinking about his future profession. Therefore, after graduating from college, he immediately entered the School of Architecture and began working for Victor Gruen’s company. Gruen then designed the first supermarket and shopping mall buildings, which later became the beginnings of American consumer culture.

By the age of 30, Gehry entered Harvard University, which he graduated from, however, only the second time. After several years of work for various firms, Frank went to Paris. There he restored French churches, and in his spare time studying the work of Le Corbusier and Balthasar Neumann.

After 3 years, imbued with knowledge and enthusiasm, Gehry returned to Los Angeles and opened the studio Frank O. Gehry and Associates. What about Frank Gehry early works? After that, he designed shops and malls in the Gruen style. A few years later, the architect decided to take a vacation and, unexpectedly for everyone, began to design furniture.

For 4 years, Frank has been designing corrugated furniture and Frank Gehry sculpture. This unusual material and design made a splash. The furniture sold for $ 730 at a cost price of $ 7. This success inspired the talented architect, and he decided to return to architecture in order to seek his own style.

Then all the money earned on furniture, he spent on the reconstruction of his Frank Gehry house. The architect turned it into “avant-garde madness.” The standard titanium buildings were overgrown with various irregularly shaped annexes made of metal nets, corrugated fiberglass, and many slats, and a glass dome was added to the roof. Neighbors of the architect were afraid of a drop in prices for their real estate because of the neighborhood with such strange Frank Gehry structures. After much debate, most of the neighbors sold their homes and moved. Frank later commented on this outcome as a successful end to the conflict with people.

At the same time, Gehry met pop art artists: Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jasper Johns. Communicating with them, Gehry began to perceive aesthetics and style in a completely different way, he freed himself from the clichés of classicism and rationalism. He found his own style and was already ready for them in peace.

Frank Gehry Style

At 49, Frank Gehry family announced that he was finally an architect! He went on to win a competition to build a law school in Los Angeles, began teaching at Yale and Harvard Universities, and finally attracted international interest.

Frank Gehry architecture all over the world, changing the atmosphere of the whole city with just one structure. At the same time, his creative path cannot be called easy: after all, despite many awards, his projects do not cease to be criticized to this day.

Frank Gehry Most Famous Buildings

Frank Gehry projects are the most recognizable of all modern architects: curved, Frank Gehry buildings with distorted metal surfaces and broken lines.

Don’t try to find a relationship between the look of the building and what is inside. Frank Gehry architecture style deliberately breaks the ties between the object and its meaning, believing that architecture is primarily art and self-expression.

Design Frank Gehry museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany

Design Frank Gehry museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany

This is Gehry’s first architectural project outside the United States. The building seems to immediately draw attention to itself: it seems that some giant has dropped origami in the middle of an empty field. The eyes are immediately attracted by the broken surfaces of the walls and roof, the spiral of the stairs, and the snow-white finish. For Gehry’s ability to play this way with planes and shapes, he was nicknamed “the king of counterpoint.”

Sculpture above the Olympic Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain

Sculpture above the Olympic Pavilion in Barcelona, Spain

The architect-designed this sculpture specifically for the Barcelona Olympic Games, which was installed on top of the Olympic Pavilion. In order for the monument to shine and shimmer, Gehry used special gilded steel as the main material.

Many people think that the architect depicted either a bird or a futuristic spaceship. In fact, Gehry designed his favorite fish building, with the carp.

Art Museum in Minneapolis, USA

Art Museum in Minneapolis, USA

When designing this museum, the architect actively used solid metal for the first time. The entire cladding of the building is made of steel tiles.

18 years after the completion of construction, Gehry developed a project to expand the museum. The architecture of the new buildings should embody Gehry’s path of development. Their forms will become calmer, and the Frank Gehry designs will become close to organic architecture.

Frank Gehry Dancing house in Prague, Czech Republic

Frank Gehry Dancing house in Prague, Czech Republic

Gehry and Czech architect Vlado Milunic designed the building that symbolizes the famous dance couple of the time, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Two deformed and elongated cylinders are composed of metal mesh, glass, and concrete.

The project has sparked controversy among designers and critics. The inhabitants of Prague demanded a ban on construction because of the strong contrast with the neighboring houses of the 19th century. Despite public discontent, Czech President Vaclav Havel personally approved the project.

Guggenheim Museum Frank Gehry in Bilbao, Spain

Guggenheim Museum Frank Gehry in Bilbao, Spain

The Frank Ghery Guggenheim is recognized as the most spectacular building, and the architect Philip Johnson (Philip Johnson) called it the greatest building of our time. Not only loud praise, but also lengthy construction epics in Gehry’s life began with this museum.

The architect did not use a computer in principle. When digitizing the cardboard model, it turned out that the program was incompatible with the principles laid down by Gehry. Common computer programs for architects are built on a rectangular grid.

In order to violate the “moral principles” of architecture, Gehry needed a new level of software. The architect, having overcome his dislike of computers, together with his team rewrote a program intended for the design of jet aircraft, which is not tied to a rectangular grid. This was an important step forward not only for Gehry, but for the entire world of architecture.

After such a difficult and long “war”, problems began with materials and there, unexpectedly for Frank, high cost. As a result, the original budget was exceeded several times.

Multifunctional Complex in Dusseldorf, Germany

Multifunctional Complex in Dusseldorf, Germany

Initially, the building was proposed to be built by Zaha Hadid, but soon her project was rejected for unknown reasons. Instead of Zaha, Frank Gehry was invited.

For the finishing, the architect used mirror-coated stainless steel. To make the building look even more spectacular, Gehry repainted two adjacent buildings. He changed the color of the house on the left to white, and on the right to red. After the completion of construction, the building was given the status of a symbol of the city.

Seattle Museum of Music, USA

Seattle Museum of Music, USA

Designing the museum, Gehry was inspired by Jimi Hendrix’s guitars, which the musician smashed after each concert. Therefore, the appearance of the building is so similar to something “falling apart”.

Inside the premises, Gehry made Hendrix’s dream come true – a music stage 30 meters high with excellent acoustics and a frieze of video projections. The room was named “Heavenly Church”. The center is clad in stainless steel and aluminum in purple, silver and gold.

Frank Gehry Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, USA

Frank Gehry Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, USA

Disney’s widow Lillian donated $50 million towards the construction of the hall and Frank Gehry exhibition Los Angeles. An international competition for the best project was organized, in which Gehry won.

Due to the architect’s dislike of computer programs and problems with materials, the construction of the building lasted 15 years. The budget has increased from the planned 50 million to 170 million.

Critics today agree that the result of Frank Gehry Bilbao was worth the wait. The Disney hall architect is quite an important detail considering that many architects consider Frank’s designs to be non-functional.

Administrative Building of the Novartis Plant in Basel, Switzerland

Administrative Building of the Novartis Plant in Basel, Switzerland

The most “glass” project of the architect. The building consists of 4 fully glazed figures. Inside, the spaces smoothly merge into each other. The only boundaries that separate the office blocks are glass partitions.

Lou Ruvo Brain Health Center in Las Vegas, USA

Lou Ruvo Brain Health Center in Las Vegas, USA

The founder of the center, Lu Ruvo, wanted to build the most unusual building in order to draw attention to the problems of medicine and get sufficient funding. Frank Gehry was the perfect fit for the idea.

The building consists of 2 buildings. The first one looks like a stack of books and consists of regular shapes and straight lines. The second gives the impression of instability and fragility.

Biological Museum in Panama, Republic of Panama

Biological Museum in Panama, Republic of Panama

The most striking project of the architect. The multi-colored roof symbolizes the diversity of biological species. Frank noted that this is a very personal project for him. First, his wife is a native of Panama, and he feels a close connection with this country. And secondly, Gehry considers it extremely important to try to preserve biodiversity, which is becoming scarcer every year.

The architect began to create the concept of the museum back in 1999, but due to bureaucratic and other problems, the building opened only in 2014.

Bickman Tower in New York, USA

Bickman Tower in New York, USA

The wavy design of the building among Frank Gehry New York buildings was inspired by the drapery of a marble sculpture by Italian Giavonni Bernini. “This guy was able to load the shape with folds of fabric so beautifully … It was he who inspired me when I made the skin of the building.”

The tower is ranked 12th among the tallest residential buildings in the world. In 2011, the project won the Emporis Skyscraper Award and was voted New York’s Most Unusual Building.

It wouldn’t be Gehry’s project if it came out that easy. Residents of neighboring houses complained that the sun’s rays were reflected from the steel panels in such a way that the apartments were unbearably hot, and the temperature of the sidewalk reached 60 ° C. As a result, the builders had to sandblast the most reflective steel sheets.

Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris, France

Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris, France

The building is decorated with 12 glass sails with a total area of 13,500 sq.m. In order for the glass surfaces to meet the parameters of flexibility and curvature, a special oven had to be made.

Like most of the architect’s buildings, the museum was built for a long time and not without incident. Gehry made changes to the project every day until the head of Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault broke down and shouted: “Stop! Enough! ” Later, environmentalists sought a ban on the construction of a museum on the territory of an ancient reserve. The mayor’s office came to Gehry’s defense and the conflict with environmentalists subsided.

Frank Gehry: Interesting Facts

Frank dreamed of building a museum of modern art in Los Angeles, but he was given to another architect. As a consolation, Gehry was given an old bus hangar. Frank had to convert it into a temporary exhibition hall while the museum was being built. The architect examined the hangar and said: “Brilliant, leave it as it is.” Subsequently, it was the temporary hall that was made permanent, and in architectural reference books, they write “Architect Frank Gehry” about it.

In addition to furniture and buildings, the architect created a jewelry collection for Tiffany, a hat for Lady Gaga, and a design for a Wyborowa Exquisite vodka bottle.

Henry is the first architect to voice himself in The Simpsons. In The Prison Rat, he created a model of a concert hall for Springfield by crumpling up a piece of paper.

Frank loves hockey. He even tried to create a team of his own employees. In 2004, the architect designed a cup for the Ice Hockey World Championship. The design of the trophy was criticized by the public.

How old is Frank Gehry? We believe that despite all the negative criticism, the 88-year-old architect continues to receive well-deserved Frank Gehry awards, teach at the best universities in the United States and design incredible buildings that break all boundaries. Therefore, we are happy to share his work with you!

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