Furniture Designs
Gehry Residence
Loyola Law School
Residences 1
Residences 2
Fish and Snake Lamps
Chiat/Day Building
Vitra International Headquarters
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Fish Sculpture
Lewis Residence
Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum
EMR Communications and Technology Center
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Nationale-Nederlanden Building
Vontz Center for Molecular Studies
Der Neue Zollhof
Experience Music Project
DG Bank Building
Ustra Office Building
Conde Nast Cafeteria
Telluride Residence
Performing Arts Center at Bard College
Peter B. Lewis Building
Guggenheim Museum New York
Hotel at Marques de Riscal
Ray and Maria Stata Center
Maggie's Centre Dundee
Millennium Park Music Pavilion and Great Lawn
New York Times Headquarters
 Frank Gehry Architect
   ExhibitionBiographyProjects Order the Catalogue
Enlarge image

Norton Residence. Photo: © Tim Street-Porter/Esto.

previous   next
late 1970s–early 1980s

Gehry's Los Angeles–area residences from the late 1970s and early 1980s reveal his interest in rupturing the orthogonal forms typical of wood-frame construction. Following the architect's conviction that "buildings under construction look nicer than buildings finished," the protective residential shell is fragmented to reveal its underlying wood framing. In the models for the unbuilt Wagner Residence (1978) and Familian Residence (1978), the rectilinear substructures are distorted, with windows and doors juxtaposed at oblique angles to the foundations.

The unbuilt aesthetic persists in Gehry's completed structures, among them the Indiana Avenue Studios (1979–81) and Norton Residence (1982–84), both built in Venice, California. Here, a more intricate agglomeration of colors and geometries is constructed from humble building materials, which include stucco, concrete block, and plywood. Each of Gehry's houses is distinguished by idiosyncratic forms that serve to integrate it with its surroundings. The oversized exterior details of the Indiana Studios minimize the structures' boxlike masses and establish their continuity with the low-lying neighborhood. The Norton Residence's lifeguard tower, actually an office separated from the main house, is similarly in keeping with the visual surroundings of the Venice beachfront.