It’s not often the case that architects grow to become household names. But Frank Gehry has never lived by any common practice. The award-winning architect has spent more than a half-century disrupting the very meaning of design within architecture. From the iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (which Philip Johnson called “the greatest building of our time”) to the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Gehry has proven time and again the force that’s produced when whimsical design is done masterfully.
Born in Canada in 1929, Gehry attended the University of Southern California and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He began his career in Los Angeles working for Victor Gruen Associates and Pereira and Luckman. After a brief stint in Paris working with Andre Remondet, the Canadian American architect returned to California and started his own firm, Frank O. Gehry & Associates, in 1962 (its successor, Gehry Partners, was established in 2002).
In the years since beginning his practice, the starchitect has been recognized time and time again for his innovative and distinct approach to design. In 1989, he won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, followed shortly by the the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale Prize for Architecture in 1992, the National Medal of the Arts in 1998, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1999, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for Architecture in 2002. In 2016, he was even honored with Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. A man with seemingly no limits, there is no bad time to celebrate Gehry’s oeuvre. Below, AD surveys 33 of his most recognizable structures from around the world.