California

Frank Gehry’s Architectural Works in California

Frank Gehry is a world-renowned architect. He is best known for his post-modern deconstructivism designs.  That is, out-of-ordinary, eccentric designs and unconventional method of constructions and materials.

His house in Santa Monica jump-started his starchitect status.

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The Gehry Residence features fences that are out-of-place, unpainted wood, aluminum stack that doesn’t work, roofing materials that used as walls, oddly placed glass cubes, and other unusual designs. Gehry still lives in this house today.

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Many of his earlier works are in California.

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Edgemar is a mini-mall complex housing Santa Monica Visitor Center, an acting school, architectural/design business, and other restaurants and shops. Inside, you will see a fountain and a wind sculpture.

Another two in Venice, CA are the Binocular Building and Norton House.

Binocular Building was once a Chiat/Day Building, but is now occupied by Google Los Angeles since 2011.

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The Norton House is located along the Venice Beachwalk near the pier. Just like Gehry Residence, it uses everyday materials such as kitchen tiles, chain link fences, and industrial staircases. The prominent feature of the building is the studio box. I like the window flaps that are designed as it was hanging by the air. That’s creating something unique with very little cost.

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Frank Gehry also designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.

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One of most famous works is Walt Disney Concert Hall. A striking amalgam of styles, curves, and forms.

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It’s Walt Disney Concert Hall that started my fascination with Frank Gehry.

Keep in mind that some of his works date back all the way from 1970’s. Vanity Fair labelled him as “the most important architect of our age”. Frank O. Gehry is a Pritzker Prize recipient, the equivalent of a Nobel for architecture. I feel fortunate to have seen many of his opuses.


THE SOPHOMORE SLUMP RECOMMNENDS:

Music: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West – I’m betting my bottom dollar on it. This end of the year, MBDTF will be the frontrunner for many lists of the best album of the decade thus far.
Book: Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck – A straightforward, brutally honest book that targets life and love.
Movie: La Vita E Bella (Life is Beautiful) by Roberto Benigni – Half comical and half sad. Bitter and sweet, rough and tender, warm and cold. This Italy’s finest will have laugh and cry to the bone.

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59 replies »

    • Too bad, a lot of his works in California, the insides are not accessible to public. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is, but photography is not allowed anyway. The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is one I will revisit soon. It was closed when I went there.

    • I, myself, actually never felt an earthquake here. It’s mostly in LA and more southern part. It is impressive that these out of ordinary designs stood the test of time. It’s incredible to think that Frank Gehry didn’t just design this building without jeopardizing structural resiliency.

  1. So interesting to see his house! Sadly, I never think about where architects live. Huh. One of my fav Gehry’s buildings is in my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio (http://weatherhead.case.edu/tour/). I had the opportunity way back when to listen to him and Peter Lewis speak about this building, the process, etc. Thanks for sharing this post! I learned a lot!! And I’m listening to Kanye’s album that you noted above. Thanks for recommending it! I don’t think I’ve heard anything from this album yet except for All of the Lights.

    • The Weather Head that you shared is so so interesting. It looks so cool!! I actually didn’t know about that one. My head is bowed once again for Frank Gehry.
      And thanks for paying attention to my recommendation. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a theatrical rap album. You don’t get that as much as a whole rap album.

  2. Wonderful survey of Gehry’s work in L.A. I’m familiar with the house in Venice on the boardwalk with what looks like a lookout tower. I read that the owner of the house was once a lifeguard, so he built that tiny room that looks like a lifeguard station.

    • Didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing. I read that they’re writers too. Hence the tiny studio. Being it in Venice Beach Boardwalk, they can get a lot of inspiration. 😀

  3. He’s quite an architect! He has a very unique taste. By the way, I love La Vita E Bella (Life is Beautiful) by Roberto Benigni. I’ve watched it several times and it never fails to make me cry. A movie that shows us how deep a parent’s love is. It’s beautifully sad but it’s one of those that you would want to see again and again.

    • Weee .. thanks for paying attention on the recommendation. La Vita E Bella will go down as one of the best, most recognized “foreign” films in history.

  4. I think Architect Gehry has made his name stands out of others. His buildings may be a disturbing with some one but not me. Thanks for sharing interesting works of this wonderful man 🙂

  5. I can never decide whether I like his work or not. I always have to study it for a while, though some of his busier designs just trn me off. They’re too junky. Other, like the Disney Hall, are beautiful. He’s definitely distinctive!

    • I see what you mean. His works are not that ‘neat’. A lot of his earlier works are not as fascinating as his newer works. Gotta start somewhere I guess. 😀 Thanks for the honest comment. 😉

  6. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is totally amazing. No wonder it started your fascination with Gehry. I remember seeing his fish installation in Barcelona in the distance and being wowed by it. Apparently he has a whole fish thing… (who knew?) It seems that we’ll have to search out the Fishdance restaurant in Kobe when we head there next month!! 🙂

    • Huh, just googled it. Didn’t know about it. It’s his most recent. It’s so so cool to know that he still continues to design, design and design at his frailty age. Awesome, that guy is.

  7. I can’t say I like all his works, but I was blown away by the Guggenheim in Bilbao. And I quite like th wierd angles of his house! Pity photography isn’t allowed inside.

  8. Hi, Rommel: thanks for visiting my blog post on convergence. The post before convergence is about the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. I did visit the Disney Concert Hall in L.A and I also attended a concert there. Someone asked about the inside. As a concert attendee, there are a few things I want the architect to attend to, such as the design of congregation. The way it is designed, separated the patrons in different parts of the concert hall without a congregate area. Usually, like the Davis Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the bar is the congregate area. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is beautiful and more practical. But comparing to the Guggenheim Museum in New York, I think the design by Frank Lloyd Wright is able to showcase the art collection in a better arrangement through its modern design.

    I am an art lover too, and I appreciate both classical and modern art. I think Frank Gehry is very talented and many of his works are stunningly beautiful. I was at Prague but regretfully did not have time to see the Dancing House. The Opus private residence in Hong Kong is very special but not too welcoming by the residents, I heard. I do appreciate your post introducing his private home. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

    Denise

  9. Just days before you posted this really interesting piece, Veronica and I had the pleasure in seeing a fantastic Gehry exhibition at the Pompedieu Museum in Paris.
    Architecture is not the sort of thing I would expect to be in a contemporary art museum, but it showcased his life and works.
    I even bought a DVD of two interviews with Frank that were features of the exhibition.
    A Gehry building just opened at the University of Technology (UTS) here in Sydney. Known as the squashed paper bag. again!

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