When the other products of a culture have faded from human memory, it is the works of architecture that remain to define an era for successive generations. As the 20th century gave way to the 21st, it was hard to dispute that the definitive architect of the age was Frank Gehry, Canadian by birth, a resident of Los Angeles by choice.
He first drew notice in his adopted city with works deploying commonplace industrial materials in unexpected ways, but he came to international prominence with works which exploded the geometry of traditional architecture to create a dramatic new form of expression. He deployed cutting-edge computer technology to realize shapes and forms of hitherto unimaginable complexity, such as the startling irregularities of his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, or the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In these monumental buildings, the uninhibited whimsy of his pencil sketches took shape in powerful structures of gleaming titanium.
From Switzerland to Japan, from Santa Monica to Prague, his buildings have transformed human expectations of the designed space. Once mocked for their astonishing originality, his buildings have become the signature structures of the challenging times we live in.