- NAME: Frank Gehry
- OCCUPATION: Architect
- BIRTH DATE: February 28, 1929 (Age: 84)
- EDUCATION: University of Southern California, Harvard University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Toronto, Canada
- Full Name: Frank Owen Gehry
- AKA: Frank Gehry
- AKA: Frank Owen Goldberg
- AKA: Frank Goldberg
- Originally: Ephraim Owen Goldberg
- AKA: Frank O. Gehry
- AKA: Ephraim Goldberg
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Best Known For
Frank Gehry is a Canadian-American architect known for postmodern designs, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
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Frank Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Canada on February 28, 1929. He studied at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. Gehry, based in Los Angeles since the 1960s, is among the most acclaimed architects of the 20th century, and is known for his use of bold, postmodern shapes and unusual fabrications. Gehry's most famous designs include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Lost Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao,
"Liquid architecture. It's like jazz—you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something. And I think it's a way of—for me, it's a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city."
"There are people who design buildings that are not technically and financially good, and there are those who do. Two categories, simple."
Frank Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg on February 28, 1929, in Toronto, Canada. The Goldberg family was Polish and Jewish. Frank was creative at a young age, building imaginary homes and cities from items found in his grandfather's hardware store. This interest in unconventional building materials would come to characterize Gehry's architectural work.
Gehry relocated to Los Angeles in 1949, holding a variety of jobs while attending college. He would eventually graduate from the University of Southern California's School of Architecture. It was during his time that he changed his Goldberg surname to Gehry, in an effort to preclude anti-Semitism. In 1956, Gehry moved to Massachusetts with his wife, Anita Snyder, to enroll at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He later dropped out of Harvard and divorced his wife, with whom he had two daughters. In 1975, Gehry married Berta Isabel Aguilera, and had two more children.
After leaving Harvard, Frank Gehry returned to California, making a name for himself with the launch of his "Easy Edges" cardboard furniture line. The Easy Edges pieces, crafted from layers of corrugated cardboard, sold between 1969 and 1973.
Still primarily interested in building rather than furniture design, Gehry remodeled a home for his family in Santa Monica with the money earned from Easy Edges. The remodel involved surrounding the existing bungalow with corrugated steel and chain-link fence, effectively splitting the house open with an angled skylight. Gehry's avant-garde design caught the attention of the architectural world, ultimately launching his career to new heights. He began designing homes in Southern California on a regular basis in the 1980s.
As Gehry achieved celebrity status, his work took on a grander scale. His high-concept buildings, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, the Dancing House in Prague and the Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao, Spain, have become tourist attractions in their own right. In 2011, Gehry returned to his roots as a residential designer, unveiling his first skyscraper, 8 Spruce Street in New York City, and the Opus Hong Kong tower in China.
The Santa Monica home, like much of Gehry's work, is an example of the Deconstructivist style—a post-structuralist aesthetic that challenges accepted design paradigms of architecture while breaking with the modernist ideal of form following function. Gehry was one of a number of contemporary architects pursuing this style, which, for years, has been particularly visible in California.
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