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Frank Gehry

  • American architect
  • Born February 28, 1929

Frank Owen Gehry, , FAIA (; born Frank Owen Goldberg; (1929 -02-28)February 28, 1929) is a Canadian-born American architect, residing in Los Angeles. A number of his buildings, including his private residence, have become world-renowned attractions. His works are cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture in the 2010 World Architecture Survey, which led Vanity Fair to label him as "the most important architect of our age".Gehry's best-known works include the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles; Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, France; MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Vontz Center for Molecular Studies on the University of Cincinnati campus; Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle; New World Center in Miami Beach; Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis; Dancing House in Prague; the Vitra Design Museum and the MARTa Herford museum in Germany; the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; the Cinémathèque Française in Paris; and 8 Spruce Street in New York City.


The best advice I've received is to be yourself. The best artists do that.

The best advice I've received is to be yourself. The best artists do that.




It's not new that architecture can profoundly affect a place, sometimes transform it. Architecture and any art can transform a person, even save someone.




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.




I can't just decide myself what's being built. Someone decides what they want, then I work for them.




The fact is I'm an opportunist. I'll take materials around me, materials on my table, and work with them as I'm searching for an idea that works.




If I knew where I was going, I wouldn't do it. When I can predict or plan it, I don't do it.




For me, every day is a new thing. I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did. And I get the sweats. I go in and start working, I'm not sure where I'm going. If I knew where I was going I wouldn't do it.




My father was an urchin that lived in Hell's Kitchen. He was part of a family of nine. I mean, there were times that were better and worse, but mostly, by the time we got to L.A., they'd lost whatever they had. And it was a sad time. And both he and I became truck drivers for different companies.




You've got to bumble forward into the unknown.

You've got to bumble forward into the unknown.




I would like to make a building as intellectually driven as it is sculptural and as positive as it would be acceptable to hope.




A well-designed home has to be very comfortable. I can't stand the aesthetes, the minimal thing. I can't live that way. My home has to be filled with stuff - mostly paintings, sculpture, my fish lamps, cardboard furniture, lots of books.




I refuse to work unless I get paid, so I don't get a lot of work sometimes.




When I went to Harvard and studied planning, I found I didn't have the skills or the strength to become the kind of public person who could go out and lobby government agencies.




I think people care. If not, why do so many people spend money going on vacations to see architecture? They go to the Parthenon, to Chartres, to the Sydney Opera House. They go to Bilbao... Something compels them, and yet we live surrounded by everything but great architecture.




Some people may say my curved panels look like sails. Well, I am a sailor, so I guess I probably do use that metaphor in my work - though not consciously.




The game is if the orchestra can hear each other, they play better. If they play better and there's a tangible feeling between the orchestra and the audience, if they feel each other, the audience responds and the orchestra feels it.




A lot of people don't get it, but I design from the inside out so that the finished product looks inevitable somehow. I think it's important to create spaces that people like to be in, that are humanistic.




I was in Peru and visited a building near Lima built by the Incas. It was low in height, with no windows at all, but all the way in the back there was air movement. And I couldn't figure out how they'd done it; it was incredible.




I think my attitudes about the past are very traditional. You can't ignore history; you can't escape it even if you want to. You might as well know where you come from, and you might as well know that everything has been done in some shape or form.




Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.




There is a backlash against me and everyone who has done buildings that have movement and feeling.




There is stuff I would have liked to have done. But there are no sour grapes.




Green issues have been used as a marketing tool. Sometimes these green claims are completely meaningless.




I work from the inside out.




Architecture has always been a very idealistic profession. It's about making the world a better place, and it works over the generations because people go on vacation and they look for it.




When I was a kid, my father didn't really have much hope for me. He thought I was a dreamer; he didn't think I would amount to anything. My mother also.




I make a model of the site. There are some obvious things: where the entrance should be, where the cars have to go in. You start to get the scale of it. You understand the client's needs, and what the client is hoping for and yearning for.




Each project, I suffer like I'm starting over again in life. There's a lot of healthy insecurity that fuels this stuff.




You have freedom, so you have to make choices - and at the point when I make a choice, the building starts to look like a Frank Gehry building. It's a signature.




And I realized, when I'd come in to the meetings with these corrugated metal and chain link stuff, and people would just look at me like I'd just landed from Mars. But I couldn't do anything else. That was my response to the people and the time.




An architect is given a program, budget, place, and schedule. Sometimes the end product rises to art - or at least people call it that.




I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did, and I get the sweats, I go in and start working, I'm not sure where I'm going.




My buildings are all on budget.




I used to sketch - that's the way I thought out loud. Then they made a book of my sketches, and I got self-conscious, so now I don't do it much.




I don't think all buildings have to be iconic, but the history of the world has shown us that cultures build iconic buildings for their major public buildings.




My father probably - he had flashes of creativity - he used to do store windows for fruit stores that he worked in and stuff.



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