Frank Gehry

The Architect

An internationally renowned architect, Frank Gehry lives and works in Los Angeles. His daring and poetic architectural style offers an approach that differs from the conventional construction of various buildings. Powerful, it toys with gravity, using volumes that create cloud-like forms. Innovative, it provokes visual ruptures that reinterpret perspectives. Narrative, it invents a futurist design that inspires surprise and emotion.

Over the last forty years, Frank Gehry has been responsible for numerous major buildings, mainly in the United States and Europe. Among these are his own residence in Santa Monica, which acted as his professional manifesto, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the DZ Bank Building in Berlin, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the IAC Building and the New York Tower. He has taught for several years at Yale University. Moved by a permanent quest for innovation and meaning, in each of his projects, he pushes the boundaries of traditional architecture to create powerful, poetic buildings.

Transcript: Tout d'abord nous savions que pour construire un bâtiment dans ce parc, il nous faudrait construire dans le style du Grand Palais, quelque chose en verre. Ce serait comme une structure de jardin. Je crois que Bernard et moi avons parlé de cela dès le début. Pour qu'il soit accepté par la Ville il fallait que le batiment soit lié au jardin, aux arbres, et à la structure du jardin. Je jouais avec des voiles en verre et je ne savais pas comment j'allais les assembler, et quel serait leur fonctionnement. Dès le dŽbut nous savions que le batîment serait constitué d'une partie solide à l'intérieur que nous avons surnommée l'iceberg, et une partie extérieure qu'ils appellent maintenant la verrière. Nous avons conçu ce projet comme une sorte de vaisseau flottant, comme une boîte flottant au-dessus du sol. C'est comme ça que l'on pourrait résumer le projet. Et le toit sera comme un jardin recouvert de verre.
© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Gédéon - 2009
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It is a very unusual building. I have never designed anything exactly like it.

Frank Gehry quote

Scale models by the dozen

For each of his buildings, Frank Gehry is in the habit of producing a whole series of scale models. Made of wood, plastic and metal, they record every step of the project and help pave the way for the final model. For the architect, they are key to examining the different aspects of the building: how it relates to its site, interior spaces, volume measurement, etc. For the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Frank Gehry added large works of art in the galleries, essential markers of the layout of the spaces and of the presentation of museum exhibits. The "1:50 confirmation model" is an approval model, a link between physical representations and digital models.

The use of aeronautical technology to benefit artistic creation

Frank Gehry's creativity requires constant technical innovation. Both in the design of the concept itself and the approach to the construction work, the Fondation Louis Vuitton project turns the principles of architecture upside down. From the very first stages onwards, all the partners brought together for the project used a single tool: Digital Project, a software program developed by Gehry Technologies on the basis of the CATIA program created by Dassault Systèmes.

The exceptional performance of this program made possible the creation of complex shapes imagined by Frank Gehry, from the design of the building through to the assembly of the different elements on site. This required very close collaboration between the different teams working simultaneously with a common 3D model.

Biography

Training: University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, and Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.

1979: Completion of his own residence in Santa Monica.

1993: Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis.

1996: The Dancing House, Prague.

1997: Opening of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

2000: Receives the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

2001: First meeting with Bernard Arnault and first sketches of the Fondation building.

2003: Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Vitra Museum in Weil-am-Rhein. In the same year, Frank Gehry receives the Pritzker Prize for Architecture.

2006: Sydney Pollack pays tribute to him in his film Sketches of Frank Gehry.

2007: IAC Building, New York.

2011: New York Tower by Gehry.

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