We all can feel it. And sitting right next to my site is a palace, a one-story Korean palace. And a 19th century two-story building. Gehry has received the most prestigious architecture prizes, such as the Pritzker, which he was awarded in 1989 or the Praemium Imperiale Award in 1992. I think most of the architects I know, including myself, have always had a sense of social responsibility. For instance, I’ve been interested in the sense of movement in architecture. I think we turn those constraints into action. The bids came in one percent spread. We formed a kind of partnership and started working on using their software to define these buildings so they could be built. Maybe they shouldn’t, but that’s something that interested me. I think it — obviously it worked. And this was like a gunfire and lights. When you see the whole package, you can see the energy. From around the world, governments and their organizations have also honored Mr. Gehry. Frank Gehry: The software was developed for airplanes. I couldn’t afford it, and they didn’t have scholarships for architects, but somehow I worked and got through. I was working on Santa Monica Place. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email, or by emailing us at privacy@dezeen.com. I challenge you to prove it.”. It was like static. I’ve always assumed they did, but the clients tell me they don’t, that we’re kind of unique that way. Is it true that this software was originally developed for aeronautics? I realized when I woke up, that it was about my house, that I was losing it. I mean some of the things I did, like the chain-link fence. What made me excited? You can find other uses for that site that are more communal with that wall, can work with it.” And I was sitting there as I was talking, thinking when is he going to kick me, and he never did. Giotto became an architect and Michelangelo became an architect. The eyes were there. I think you have to be a collaborator on lots of levels. He was an architect. This is one of the most prestigious awards in the world of architecture. I think there’s a snarky reporting — which you’re aware of, I’m sure — that is not appreciated. The project was built as a center for contemporary art and culture, and to house the rapidly growing art collection of the charitable arm of the French luxury-goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton. Architects design with a set of values that guide the way they mak… They’d rather have the conceiver take a parental role. He gave them 30 million extra to build it that way and it’s built. I kind of pulled it off. Dezeen Weekly subscribers will also receive occasional updates about events, competitions and breaking news. The building brings in people. Greek temples were anthropomorphic. Gehry, what do you think of the site?” And I said without a blink, “It’s the wrong site.” I said, “The reason it’s the wrong site is that the wall — the 19th century wall which fits into the neighborhood perfectly— in order to build a museum like you want, you’d have to tear it down, and that would destroy the continuity of the neighborhood. It’s similar, except there’s legal implications times jillions. His current projects include the decade-long renovation of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, new mixed-use complexes in Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, and Abu Dhabi's forthcoming Guggenheim museum. Although his main project for Los Angeles went unbuilt through the ’90s, he completed major projects in a number of other countries. I was skipped into second year. If you look at the world around us, and you think of all these adult and intelligent people who have gathered together over the years to create the biggest mess. Why am I doing this? What first made you think of being an architect? I mean it was in their head and it was relevant, but it was irrelevant to this moment of truth. When did that change? So I dealt with it, but when I dealt with it, it was like the neighbors thought I was making fun of them, which I wasn’t. But I sort of represented maverick stuff. Frank Gehry: It’s paper. So you have to go through all of that. Hurry. There are a few people that try it and get away with it, but the people that do it, I don’t see them producing what the guys who used to do it did. The interior employs water in the form of a moat and a waterfall to reflect the ample light that floods all connecting areas of the structure. Things happen. In the following years, Gehry immersed himself in a number of projects, including the Barclays Center sports arena in Brooklyn, New York, a concert hall for the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, and another branch of the Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi. I came out drenched. Gehry first envisioned its form, like all his works, through a simple freestyle hand sketch, but breakthroughs in computer software had enabled him to build in increasingly eccentric shapes, sweeping irregular curves that were the antithesis of the severely rectilinear International Style. The clients that we were working with all left. He completed his architecture studies at the University of Southern California in 1954, and enrolled at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design to study urban planning, but dropped out soon after and returned to Los Angeles. Well, that backfired on me. I lived on that for a while and made the so-called folly, which he’s not going to build anyway. Have new technologies and computers affected your work, and how? Born February 28, 1929 in Toronto, Canada, Gehry has spread his signature Deconstructivist style in all parts of the globe. What was the turning point? In L.A., when I started doing my architecture, the first few buildings, like the Danziger building, got a lot of criticism from the guys I grew up with in architecture, without naming them. Frank Gehry was included in building numerous multiple buildings. It’s become very businesslike, and is antithetical to being a work of art. I mean nobody knows this about Disney Hall, it cost $207 million. I think it’s just a training thing, if you’re aware that you’re putting your hand in the fire for a few minutes…. It sounds like patience is important too. You can’t do any of that. The Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, completed in 1990, was to be Gehry’s first monumental work in his own country, a billowing fantasy in brick and stainless steel. In 2010, Vanity Fair magazine polled 52 of the world’s best-known architects and architectural critics, asking them to name the most significant works of architecture of the last 30 years. When I got out of school I hit the brick wall. Although he originally completed his design for the proposed Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles in 1989, funding shortages and political infighting delayed construction of the project for many years. And I pull the team around. I think that’s what’s kind of been missing in the profession, is that sense of responsibility to that ethos or whatever it is, that you have a responsibility to make a beautiful building. Anyway, the long story short, they did it. Usually it turns out better after I go through this thing. They have chain link. Dan Flavin wasn’t really known for kinetic work. Frank Gehry: Just on a hunch, I tried some architecture classes. He studied at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. The tails were there. Frank Gehry, Producer: Miles Ahead. "He's innovated on every front that an architect can innovate," he continued. There are more all-star architects today than there were when I was a kid. Once mocked for their astonishing originality, his buildings have become the signature structures of the challenging times we live in. But he was trusting a moment in his life where that was funny, and he just put them together and did it and it became a signature piece. I then started to sketch fish. I spent time with Rauschenberg a lot during the combine period. I made a fish for a fashion show at the Pitti Palace. These ideas are not easy to describe. So out of that comes inspiration, believe it or not, and leads to ideas. I don’t get a lot of projects, but I get enough, and when I do get them, usually people want what I am doing and egg me on to explore things, and that’s exciting. There are many different kinds of work, signatures in work, and we do co-exist. I said, “I saw this bridge, and I saw this site with the brick factory and it looked derelict.” I don’t know what got in me. You can do it. They have all these things, and how am I going to? You’ve got to know where you want to go with it, and how to explain it. That's Frank Gehry giving you—and all his many critics—the finger. It was about perception, perceptual relationships. You know, somehow I just started racking my brain about, “What do I like?” Where was I? I am with them. It took about three minutes to four minutes before the fire got too hot and I’ll pull it out. They’re easy to rationalize after the fact, like the sense of movement is easy to rationalize, or certain materials, or certain constructs, and shapes, and forms. I think we are by nature. Did you already have an image in your mind of what you wanted Bilbao to be? The line of furniture, called Easy Edges, was featured in national magazine spreads, and the Los Angeles architect experienced an unexpected notoriety. Those shapes turned on Richard Serra to do a new kind of piece, which came out of the house. I couldn’t hang onto it. Doing the Facebook stuff has changed a lot of thinking about an office environment that I think will be emulated. The year 2004 saw the long-awaited completion of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles. What are those made out of? They turned it into a museum, and they had a show and they put that fish there along with some of my other models in a room. You still felt a movement. And inside the fish was a mannequin dressed in a beautiful new garb sitting on a chair and you could see it through the eyeball. And you could see from the hill looking down that there was a straight-line view to City Hall across the river. I thought, “This isn’t going to be slam dunk.” We tried it on Bilbao and we trained the subcontractors. American, born Canada 1929. In fact, critics would come in and would look at a rain spot on the plaster and say, “Is that on purpose or not?” They thought they were maligning me, and I thought that was just wonderful. I mean, he acknowledges his mistake, of course, but it’s — I mean, I just sort of kept going. Over the years, Gehry has lent his imaginative designs to a number of products outside the field of architecture, including the Wyborovka Vodka bottle, a wristwatch for Fossil, jewelry for Tiffany & Co. and the World Cup of Hockey trophy. But I did, in the course of working with it, get into trying to design on it, even though I hate the imagery. It can be done if the budgets are real, and the expectations are set, real, and they’re explained along the way, that if you want a marble kitchen top, that costs $50 more. Gehry first envisioned its form, like all his works, through a simple freestyle hand sketch, but breakthroughs in computer software had enabled him to build in increasingly eccentric shapes, sweeping irregular curves that were the antithesis of the severely rectilinear International Style. The U.S. Government won’t hire me. In 2006, the architect and his work were the subject of a feature-length documentary film, Sketches of Frank Gehry, by director Sydney Pollack. Therefore it’s got to be expensive. He did very stark things, and that all excited me. “What are you doing?” It’s only after they saw it, then everything clicked. Traditional modernists criticized the work as arbitrary, or gratuitously eccentric, but distinguished former exponents of the International Style, such as the late Philip Johnson, championed his work, and Gehry became the most visible of an elite cohort of highly publicized “starchitects.” He drew fire again with his design for the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle, but in his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, a long-delayed project was reaching fruition. I think that’s pretty much the feeling in the profession. Although born in Canada, he became a citizen of the United States in 1950. I said, “There.” And I don’t usually do things like that. Frank Gehry: I guess when I did my house. At first I didn’t do great. Frank and Berta Gehry were founding trustees of HDF in 1968 and are deeply committed to its mission – to cure brain diseases. On my 85th birthday Berta, my wife, wanted to do something for me. I don’t know why it worked. I come from a very lefty liberal family in Canada, and architecture looked like it was the panacea. “What is your favorite thing that you do?” And he said, “I love the sleepovers at my house when I can stay up late with my friends.” And I said, “Okay. I’m 66, so you get to a point where you get some powers and some credibility — it took a long time — with certain people. Who am I? Zuckerberg came here, saw this office, and said, “I want that.”, I’m more critical than any of you guys could be. I meet the people. It made me resolve that I could go forward somehow. And you see a lot of architects, a lot of ideas being more accepted. So that was a normal thing. And I was getting excited about making it, and they said they needed a height, a high rater, and blah, blah, blah. Frank Gehry in Berlin and Los Angeles: Space for Music April 25, 2018–July 30, 2017 The Getty Center, Los Angeles www.getty.edu. It doesn’t exist. I had a nightmare that a helicopter crashed into a Zeppelin, and the helicopter had a woman in a pink dress — and my house is pink, pink outside — flat against the hull — and she came crashing down on me in the street, and I pulled my mother to safety. For more details, please see our privacy notice. Whatever is left is very insignificant now. — if you’re not trying to pull the wool over their eyes. The name of Bilbao is now synonymous with your building. They take me with Tom to the site. I went to Bilbao. So there is that kind of assumption that if somebody does something that’s free with that, they must be a prima donna, they must be expensive. Frank Gehry: Well, I think there are all kinds of architects. Clunk. Even though it has its own body language, it fits very well into the form of the city. A series of public structures in and around Los Angeles marked his evolution away from orthodox modernist practice, including the Frances Goldwyn Branch Library in Hollywood, the California Aerospace Museum and the Loyola University Law School. It may be in graphics as it applies to architecture. And I walked in and saw this kitsch piece of wood with — I mean it really was — I mean it was so embarrassing. You’re famous for achieving a sense of movement in architecture, with complex curving shapes. All of these elements, I’m trying to gather them into my head and use them in some way. And I just picked it up and put it there, and he said, “Wow, that’s great! Frank Gehry: I try very hard to get the energy of the idea, the first idea, the drawing, and that character to the finished building. So that’s what led to the building. 2012 AIA Honor Awards Frank Gehry's House The making of the world's most famous—and most misunderstood—bungalow, as fondly remembered by Frank Gehry's project designer. “How many people here think I’m a prima donna?” Everybody puts their hand up. I heard two gunshots, but later he said it was some neighborhood stuff, and it was happening all over the neighborhood. I think that our politics suggest that many ideas could coexist, and the richness of ideas coexisting interests me, and it’s led me to collaborating with other architects, with other artists, and I find that exhilarating and very fruitful. They’re trying to search for that. The presidential awards citation, read in part, “never limited by conventional materials, styles, or processes, Frank Gehry’s bold and thoughtful structures demonstrate architecture’s power to induce wonder and revitalize communities. Period. It’s intuitive. 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