Definitions

Gehry

Gehry

[gair-ee, gar-ee]
Gehry, Frank Owen, 1929-, American architect, b. Toronto, Ont., as Frank Owen Goldberg. He is widely considered one of the finest and most artful of contemporary architects. In 1947, Gehry's family moved to Los Angeles, where he attended the Univ. of Southern California; he later studied at Harvard. He has been acclaimed for his original, sophisticated, adventurous, and very American buildings. Extremely varied and lively, his structures contrast space and materials; often jutting, unusual shapes are juxtaposed with simple geometric forms. In his earlier work these forms are expressed in a wide range of usual and unusual architectural materials (e.g., raw plywood, corrugated aluminum, and exposed pipe) that sometimes give these buildings a deliberately unfinished quality. Among his many important commissions are the Loyola Law School (1981-84), and the Team Disneyland Building (1995), Los Angeles; "Gehry's Fish" (1992), Barcelona; the Weisman Museum of Art (1993), Minneapolis, the first of his all metal-clad buildings; and the Cinémathèque Français (the former American Center. 1994), Paris.

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.

(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.

Search another word or see gehryon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature