Informations

Due to the success of the exhibition, we advise you to visit the Fondation in the morning or from 5 p.m.

Frank Gehry

"The great work of architectures expresses feeling. When you visit and see them there's a transfer of feeling from the artist, the architect, other time through the ages, to now.” - Frank Gehry

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.


SCALE MODEL 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

Frank Gehry

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.

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.


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: Received 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 received the Pritzker Prize for Architecture.
  • 2006: Sydney Pollack paid tribute to him in his film Sketches of Frank Gehry.
  • 2007: IAC Building, New York.
  • 2011: New York Tower by Gehry
  • 2014: Fondation Louis Vuitton.