Los Angeles residents have an unwavering love affair with architecture; with so much variety woven throughout the city, it’s difficult not to delight in it all. Showcasing Bauhaus to beach, modern to contemporary and both desert and mountain-style homes, Los Angeles structures have no categorical limits. But not one pleases architecture enthusiasts more than the city’s own Frank Gehry.
The Varied Works of Frank Gehry
Gehry, now 88 year old, is credited with some of this town’s most iconic buildings, not only considering L.A., but the world. A partial list of his work includes the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; the Boulez Hall in Berlin; the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College; Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris and local favorite, the Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles.
Gehry is accredited with the design of his own home in Santa Monica, an industrial-esque wonder that brings together different materials, shapes and angles. The inside of the home evokes a deconstructed tree house, with exposed beams and a flood of natural light shining through the property’s foliage. He also built the famed Google building in Venice, a sight to behold with a set of massive matte binoculars comprising its entry. Alongside it? A beautiful patina structure in classic Gehry style.
Considered among all as a ‘starchitect,’ Frank Gehry shows off a wealth of culture, angst and beauty, through his work. And while Gehry says in a recent interview with Santa Monica Mirror writer Susan Cloke that, even after all of this time, he still feel like an outsider, his latest project in Boyle Heights along the LA River suggests that he is rather an integral part of Los Angeles culture.
The L.A. River project headed by Gehry is an effort to rebuild for the 25 percent of Angelenos that live along the 30-mile stretch. This includes appropriate housing, parks, recreation and more. Gehry, who has commented on the challenges of renewing the River, by calling it, “a complicated organism,” also realizes what a complicated living situation it is for the inhabitants of South LA and hopes to make a healthy river and a space that address the needs of the people who live there. Though plans have yet to be revealed, the vision for change is set.
Not only as a famous architect, but as a man, Frank Gehry has lived an epic story. In a recent forum held by the Los Angeles Times at his own Disney Concert Hall, Gehry revealed a handful of lesser known facts about his life, for instance his career as a truck driver during his early L.A. days, and the fact that when he moved into his 22nd Street home in Santa Monica with his wife, the neighbors were horrified by the build.
Tour Gehry’s Architectural Works
Celebrating Gehry’s genius, his eccentricity and his love for the non-traditional, Architecture Tours L.A. has devoted an entire guided tour to his work around the city. The Special Frank Gehry Tour is roughly six hours long and takes guests to his must-see creations like the Disney Concert hall, Google and Gehry’s current Santa Monica home. You’ll learn about the history, the inspiration, the challenges and even understand the materials Gehry selected and why. With so many things to do in LA, this isn’t one you’ll want to overlook, as it offers a deeper understanding of the city’s culture through the eyes of this talented architect.