Gehry's later work displays a curving complexity made possible by computer programs and other innovative design tools, many of which he and his team developed. While these metal-clad buildings have distinct similarities, they differ significantly in shape, proportion, materials, and relation to the sites they occupy. His most important and acclaimed building to date is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (1997), a large structure of voluptuous, swooping, organic forms covered in gleaming titanium steel that made him an international star. Gehry also used curving metal-covered walls in his Experience Music Project rock music museum in Seattle (2000). His design for the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts (2003) at Bard College combines the characteristic billowing steel shapes at its facade with the unadorned concrete that forms the rear of the building. The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles (2003) has a matte-finish stainless steel facade comprised of several large upward-curving elements punctuated by a hinged glass-panel entry, and an interior clad in Douglas fir.
The architect returned to geometric forms in the computer-assisted complexity of his Stata Center (2004), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer-science building—a colorful, tilting conglomeration of towers, cubes, tubes, and cones in steel, aluminum, and brick whose open interior spaces are designed to promote encounters among its scientist inhabitants. Gehry's first completed New York City project, the InterActiveCorp headquarters in Manhattan (2006-07), is characterized by a façade of billowing white glass that glows with inner light. Another façade of swelling glass harmonizes with curving and spiraling wooden ramps and staircases in the interior of his 2008 renovation of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gehry's first project in his native Toronto. Gehry also designs furniture and other utilitarian objects as well as watches and jewelry. Prominent among his many professional honors are the Pritzker Prize (1989) and the first Gish Award (1994).
See K. W. Forster, Frank O. Gehry/Kurt W. Forster and M. Friedman, ed., Gehry Talks: Architecture + Process (both: 1999) and B. Isenberg, Conversations with Frank Gehry (2009); studies by R. H. Bletter et al. (1986), F. Dal Co et al. (1998), L. B. Chollet (2001), and E. da C. Meyer (2008); Sketches of Frank Gehry (documentary film, dir. by S. Pollack, 2006).
(born Feb. 28, 1929, Toronto, Ont., Can.) Canadian-born U.S architect. He studied at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. In his early buildings, his use of inexpensive materials (chain-link fencing, plywood, corrugated steel) gave many of his projects an unfinished, whimsical air. His structures are often characterized by unconventional or distorted shapes that have a sculptural, fragmented, or collagelike quality. In designing public buildings, he tends to cluster small units within a larger space rather than creating monolithic structures, thus emphasizing human scale. Of particular note is his Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (1991–97) in Spain, a shimmering pile of sharply twisting, curving shapes surfaced in titanium. Gehry won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1989.
Learn more about Gehry, Frank O(wen) with a free trial on Britannica.com.