Born in Toronto in 1929, Frank Gehry moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1947. After graduating with an architecture degree in 1954, he studied city planning at Harvard in 1956 before opening his own agency in Los Angeles in 1962.
Gehry initially worked in the modern tradition on large-scale projects, while enriching his frame of reference through his contact with artists. His own family home in Santa Monica (1978) serves as a manifesto for his style, with its distinctive use of unconventional materials (wire mesh, sheet metal) sourced from the local area, as well as the disjointed facades. Gehry’s bold yet whimsical architecture offers a different approach to building. It subverts the notion of weight, creating shapes that seem to float like clouds. It is innovative with its visual interruptions, but also creates a narrative, a futuristic concept full of surprise and emotion that Gehry accentuates through the use of computer modelling. In 1989 Gehry was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. His significant projects include the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis (1993), the Dancing House in Prague (1996) and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (1997). In 2003 Gehry completed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein. Opened in 2014, the Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton, commissioned by Bernard Arnault, is rooted in French 19th century culture while incorporating the technological advances of the 21st century.