- NAME: Frank Gehry
- OCCUPATION: Architect
- BIRTH DATE: February 28, 1929 (Age: 85)
- 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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Gehry is known for his choice of unusual materials as well as his architectural philosophy. His selection of materials such as corrugated metal lends some of Gehry's designs an unfinished or even crude aesthetic. This consistent aesthetic has made Gehry one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable designers of the recent past. Critics of Gehry’s work have charged, however,
that his designs are not thoughtful of contextual concerns and frequently do not make the best use of valuable urban space.
Frank Gehry is known for his professionalism and adherence to budgets, despite his complex and ambitious designs. A notable exception to this successful budgeting was the Walt Disney Concert Hall project, which exceeded the budget by over a hundred and seventy million dollars and resulted in a costly lawsuit.
In recent years, Gehry has served as a professor of architecture at Columbia University, Yale and the University of Southern California. He has also served as a board member at USC's School of Architecture, his alma mater. Among his many official honors, Gehry was the 1989 recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Prize—an annual award honoring a living architect "whose built work demonstrates combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture."
Gehry has played himself on television programs, including The Simpsons, and has appeared in advertisements for Apple. In 2005, director Sydney Pollack made a documentary film, Sketches of Frank Gehry, focusing on the architect's work and legacy.
Gehry's recent and ongoing projects include a new Guggenheim facility in Abu Dhabi, the new Facebook headquarters in California and a memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower in Washington, D.C., slated to be constructed at the foot of Capitol Hill. While plans were approved for the $142 million Eisenhower memorial in 2010, and construction was set to begin in 2012, the project has stalled in recent months due to objections by the Eisenhower family. Gehry's initial design included a statue of Eisenhower as a child, a focal point that, according to descendants of the 34th president and others, failed to properly represent Eisenhower's prominent achievements. Gehry subsequently revised his design to depict an older Eisenhower, among other small changes, but Eisenhower family members remained dissatisfied with the level of sophistication of the planned monument, also citing new concerns relating to costs and workmanship.
Exasperating the Eisenhower memorial controversy, in March 2013, U.S. Representative Rob Bishop introduced a bill that would initiate a new design competition for the project and eliminate a large portion of its already-approved funding.
Gehry continues to be one of the world's leading contemporary architects, and due to his celebrity status, he has been referred to as a "starchitect"—a label that Gehry rejects. In a 2009 interview with the British newspaper The Independent, he explained why he dislikes the term: "I am not a 'star-chitect', I am an ar-chitect," he said.
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