Frank Gehry

Los Angeles, United States

Architect and designer Frank Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1929. In 1947, he emigrated to Los Angeles with his family, where he attended classes at Los Angeles City College. He went on to study at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in 1954. After school, he worked for Victor Gruen Associates in LA. From 1956–57, he studied urban planning at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, before returning to Los Angeles to work briefly for Pereira and Luckman, and then Victor Gruen Associates again, where he stayed until 1960. In 1961, Gehry and his family moved to Paris, where he worked in the office of André Remondet. While in Europe, he found inspiration in the works of Le Corbusier, Balthasar Neumann, and others. In 1962, he returned to LA and established Frank O. Gehry & Associates in Santa Monica. Gehry & Associates became Gehry Partners, LLP, in 2001. The full service architectural firm works around the globe on academic, museum, performance, residential, and commercial projects.

Gehry is known for boldly sculptural designs, and his expressive structures often incorporate organic forms. Notable projects include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1997), the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (2003), and his private residence Gehry House in Santa Monica (1979), an idiosyncratic showcase of sorts that utilized low-cost materials like chain-link fencing, corrugated aluminum, and plywood. In addition to his architectural works, he has, over the years, also designed exhibitions, jewelry, and furniture.

Gehry’s work has garnered him multiple awards, including the lauded Pritzker Architecture Prize (1989), the Lillian Gish Award for lifetime contribution to the arts (1994—he was the award’s first recipient), the Friedrich Kiesler Prize (1998), and the Lifetime Achievement Award (2000) from Americans for the Arts.

Gehry lives and works in Santa Monica.