Because of the mathematical intricacy of Gehry's design, he chose to collaborate using CATIA, a sophisticated program originally designed for the aerospace industry, to properly convert his concept to the structure and to ease construction. The result is a unique museum that has become one of Gehry's most famous works.
The Guggenheim Museum was built in Bilbao, Spain, as a project for the Bienal International de Arte y Diseño (BIAD). It opened to the public on July 7, 1997. The museum is located on top of an industrial site that used to be a shipyard. It takes up about five acres and includes an exhibition space of 40,000 square feet (3,860 m2) and a research library with more than 100,000 books. There are also three restaurants, a bar, and a shop inside the building.
The main reason why Gehry designed the Guggenheim Museum was because it was supposed to be an experimental facility for new forms of art museums. Also, he wanted to create something that was not existing in America at that time - a world-class museum that was also a work of art itself. Finally, Gehry was invited to design this museum by its owner, Solomon Guggenheim, who was also a friend of his. They had met while working on another project together years before.
Gehry's design methodology is very exploratory and experimental. He constructs his structures through slow, painstaking design research. Sketching is the first step in Gehry's architectural approach. He does quick, forceful drawings until he discovers his sculptural shapes. Then he moves on to computer-aided design (CAD), refining his ideas before starting construction.
Frank Gehry uses his imagination to produce unique designs. His philosophy is that if you can imagine it, it can be done. So far, he has succeeded in bringing these ideas to life.
His building types include skyscrapers, houses, shells, and sculptures. Each project requires extensive research and development to achieve its unique look. Sometimes Gehry collaborates with other architects or designers for specific projects.
He started out as a painter and sculptor before turning to architecture. In 1975, he opened his own office in Los Angeles where he continues to work today.
His most famous work so far is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. It won't be complete for another year but already it has become one of Gehry's best-known projects. The museum was also chosen by Forbes as one of the world's greatest works of art.
Sketches eventually grow into a sequence of models. The scale, function, and material of Gehry's physical models varies. Some models are small, three-dimensional sketches; others are full-size prototypes built from plastic. Still others are complete buildings.
Gehry uses his models to understand the relationships between different components of his designs and how they might interact with one another. For example, he may find out that a particular window shape works well at one size but not at another. Or perhaps its glass would be too expensive at one price point but affordable at another. Using this information, he can refine his idea and move on to the next stage of development.
Models are also important for marketing purposes. When Gehry shows his designs to potential clients, they often ask to see examples based on their own company or product line. This gives him ideas for materials, colors, and technologies that he could incorporate into his projects. He has also used model photography as part of his promotional campaign for some of his projects.
Finally, the design process involves many rounds of revisions and adjustments before a building is completed. Models serve as test beds for concepts that may not work in practice, allowing architects to fix problems before investing too much time and money in construction.
Gehry was inspired by "junk art," which investigates raw construction materials and questioning the notion of beauty. He was also influenced by the collage methods of Cubist painters, which can be observed in much of his work, in which he dismantles, reassembles, and layers construction elements. Finally, he was drawn to the futuristic designs of Art Deco artists.
Gehry was born on January 4th, 1929 in Los Angeles, California. His father was a successful furniture designer who owned his own company. When Gehry was 11 years old, his family moved to Switzerland where they lived for three years. They then moved back to California, where his father opened his own office. Young Frank worked with him until 1951 when he started his own firm.
Over the next few years, Gehry developed an interest in architecture and began to build models and scale drawings of buildings. In 1955, he founded his own architectural practice with the help of a few partners. One year later, he got his first job, designing a house for himself. This project led to more private commissions which helped Gehry develop his style over time. In 1960, he received his first major public commission: the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. It was at this point that he became one of the most important architects in America.
In 1964, Gehry met with Mies van der Rohe who offered him advice on how to succeed as an architect.