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Architect Frank Gehry
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Location Santa Monica, California   map
Date 1978   timeline
Building Type architect's house
 Construction System light wood frame, corrugated metal, chain link
Climate mild temperate
Context suburban
Style Deconstructivist Post-Modern
Notes "Gehry Residence". Deconstructivist re-working of conventional suburban California house. Further remodeled in several phases, over the decades, since the original seminal reworking in 1978.


Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior

Photo, exterior


Axonometric Drawing





Discussion Gehry House Commentary

"Adhering to the spirit of ad-hocism... Frank Gehry's own house in Los Angeles is rather a collision of parts, built to stay but with a deliberately unfinished, ordinary builderlike sensibility of parts. An existing and very pedestrian two-story gambrel-roofed clapboard residence had much of its interior removed and walls stripped back to their original two-by- four stud frame, beams, and rafters. It was then expanded by wrapping the old house with a metal slipcover creating a new set of spaces around its perimeter. The antirefinement type enclosure is built of the most mundane materials, corrugated aluminum metal siding, plywood, glass and chain-link fencing, and deliberately has randomly slanted lines and angled protrusions. Although the house retains a certain minimalist sense, the effort here is cluttered expressionistic and the sensibility is freely intended as artistically intuitive, of accident not resolved. The palette is anti-high-tech in preference for a visual presence that is off-the-shelf and ordinary 'cheap tech.' Gehry considers buildings as sculpture with the freedom from restraint that this might imply, hence it is not surprising that his work has an affinity to the collages of Robert Rauschenberg, especially in the artist's ripped cardboard assemblage period of the 1970s. (Gehry himself designed a line of corrugated cardboard furniture.)

"With the original house almost intact formwise, Gehry, in effect, lifted back the skin to reveal the building as layers, with new forms breaking out and tilting away from the original, to create a forerunner of the Deconstructionist spirit of the eighties. It is almost an idea of 'wrapping' à la Christo, but where Christo seeks through a veil to transform the original to a new sense of being and meaning, Gehry rather produces a discontinuous juxtaposition where one system collides with another resulting in, to quote Bernard Tschumi, a 'super position or disjunctive disassociation.' Where Johansen assembles technological-like elements freely seeding dialogue through the combination, Gehry, through collaging, also basically (but with a different aesthetic) derives an approach to design from the methodology and respect for construction and its architectonic potential as a form maker and space generator."

— from Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. p228-230.


AIA 25 Year Award, 2012

Sources on Gehry House

- AIA National, including photos and discussion, 2012.0109

- AIA National, 2012.0109

"," by Michael J. Crosbie. ArchitectureWeek No. 53, 2001.0606, pN1.1.

Kurt W. Forster, Hadley Soutter Arnold, Francesco Dal Co. Frank O. Gehry : The Complete Works. Monacelli Press, September 1998. ISBN 1-8852-5463-6. — A beautiful book with multiple Five Star reviews from Amazon.com readers. Available at Amazon.com

Akiko Busch. The Photography of Architecture: Twelve Views. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0-442-01349-3. LC 86-5627. TR659.B87 1986. two exterior photos, p229. photos by Paul Heyer.

Peter Gossel and Gabriele Leuthauser. Architecture in the Twentieth Century. Germany: Benedikt Taschen Verlag, 1991. ISBN 3-8228-0550-5. p360.

Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0-442-01328-0. LC 92-18415. NA2750.H48 1993. discussion p228-230. exterior photo, p229.

John Nicolais. "Architect's House", Architecture + Urbanism. July 1980, Vol 1980 Number 7. p4. axonometric drawing, p6. drawing of west elevation, p6. drawing of east elevation, p7. drawing of first floor plan, p7. drawing of second floor plan, p7.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.—



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