Frank Gehry's recognizable designs are often cited as being among the most important works of contemporary architecture.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Gehry was a creative child. Encouraged by his grandmother, he would build little cities out of scraps of wood from her husband's hardware store. His buildings consist of juxtaposed collages of spaces and materials that make people appreciate both the theater and backstage simultaneously.
A winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize—considered one of the world's premier architecture awards—Gehry was commended by the jury as, "always open to experimentation. He has as well a sureness and maturity that resists, in the same way that Picasso did, being bound either by critical acceptance or his successes."
Here is a selection of some of Gehry's most remarkable creations, starting with perhaps the most notable of his career—the 1978 renovation of his own Santa Monica, California residence, where he still lives.
Get the Dwell Newsletter
Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.
Gehry Tower is a nine-story building that was commissioned by the city-owned Hanover Transport Services (üstra), for whom Gehry also designed a bus stop in the city.
Walt Disney Concert Hall (2003)
Los Angeles, California
A trip to Los Angeles isn’t complete without visiting Walt Disney Concert Hall, one of the city's premier cultural destinations. Whether it's the majesty of the architecture, the purity of the sound or the beauty of its public garden, Walt Disney Concert Hall has become one of the symbols of Los Angeles.
Weisman Art Museum (1993)
Opened in 1993, the Weisman Art Museum was expanded in 2011, with an addition also designed by Gehry that creates a seamless and fluid visitor experience.
Peter B. Lewis Building (2002)
Since its construction in 2002, the Peter B. Lewis Building has housed the Weatherhead School of Management at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. The building exterior is classic Gehry, with ribbons of stainless steel unfurling from a brick base. The open interior is meant to encourage cross-disciplinary socializing.
Stata Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Ray and Maria Stata Center, or Building 32, is a 720,000-square-foot academic complex at MIT. Academic celebrities such as Noam Chomsky and Ron Rivest, World Wide Web Consortium founder Tim Berners-Lee, and free software movement founder Richard Stallman have offices in the building.
Art Gallery of Ontario (2008)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) (French: Musée des beaux-arts de l'Ontario) is one of the largest galleries in North America and contains more than 80,000 works spanning the first century to the present day. Since 1974, the gallery has seen four major expansions and renovations, and continues to add spaces.
Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard College (2003)
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
The New Yorker called the Richard B. Fisher Center "[possibly] the best small concert hall in the United States." The building's heat and air-conditioning systems are entirely powered by geothermal sources, enabling the Center to be fossil fuel free during standard operations. The total cost of the project reached $62 million and took three years to complete, opening in April 2003.
The Museum of Pop Culture (2000)
Gehry looked to music for his inspiration when designing the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. He bought several electric guitars and cut them into pieces, serving as the building blocks of his design.
Lou Ruvo Center (2010)
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Lou Ruvo Center operates as an outpatient treatment and research facility in downtown Las Vegas on land deeded to Keep Memory Alive, the fund raising arm of LRCBH, by the City of Las Vegas as part of its Symphony Park. The Center is approximately 65,000-square-feet and includes 13 examination rooms, offices for health care practitioners and researchers, a "Museum of the Mind" and a community auditorium.
New York by Gehry (2011)
New York, New York
New York by Gehry is an 899-unit residential apartment building that also includes a pre-K to grade 8 public school, an ambulatory care center, retail space, and parking on the lower levels. The 1,040,904-square-foot, 76-story building is 870 feet tall and was at the time of its completion the tallest residential building in North America.
Dancing House (1996)
Designed by Gehry in collaboration with the Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić on a vacant riverfront plot, The Dancing House (Czech: Tančící dům), or Fred and Ginger, is the nickname given to the Nationale-Nederlanden building which was completed in 1996.
Cinémathèque Française (1994)
The Cinémathèque Française is a French film organization that holds one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world. Based in Paris, the archive offers daily screenings of worldwide films.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1997)
Set on the edge of the Nervión River in Bilbao, Spain, the Guggenheim Museum is a landmark Gehry building.