Life is chaotic, dangerous, and surprising.
Buildings should reflect that.

Photo Credit: David Heald

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit: Grant Mudford


Frank Gehry's early life and beginnings of his career.

Frank Gehry is a Canadian American architect and designer whose original, sculptural, and unique work won him worldwide renown. He was born on February 28, 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and 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. 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. After working for many different architectural firms, he created his own company, Frank O. Gehry & Associates, in 1962 and established a new one, Gehry Partners, in 2002.

Photo Credit: Philippe Migeat

Photo Credit: Frank Gehry Edited by Aurélien Lemonier Pg. 151

Unlike others, Gehry began to experiment with unusual expressive devices and to search for a personal vocabulary, driven by the cold and formulaic Modernist buildings. In his early work he built unique structures that emphasized human scale and contextual integrity. His best embodied piece of his early work are best shown by the work he made to his own home in Santa Monica, California. He essentially stripped the two-story home down to its frame and then built a chain-link and corrugated-steel frame around it, complete with asymmetrical norms it embodied–appear to have exploded wide open. Gehry’s ability to undermine the viewer’s expectations of traditional materials and forms led him to be grouped with the deconstructivist movement in architecture, although his play upon architectural tradition also caused him to be linked to postmodernism.