The Influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on Frank Gehry in the Design of his Own House

The Influence of Frank Lloyd Wright on Frank Gehry in the Design of his Own House

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Many of Frank Gehry’s early works reflect a refined manipulation of shapes and structures, whereby many of his buildings present distorted shapes or apparent structures. From the Guggenheim museum to the Walt Disney concert hall, Frank Gehry’s architecture is close to none. He cleverly plays with shapes and geometries. In this essay, I shall start with a brief analysis of Gehry’s house and the influences in the design of the house. I shall then analyze the extent to which Frank Lloyd Wright has inspired and influenced Gehry in the design of his house through a comparison with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Jacob’s house.
Gehry draws his inspiration from famous paintings such as the Madonna and Child which he qualifies as a “strategy for architecture” (Friedman M. , 2003, p. 42) and which he used as an inspiration for a project in Mexico . Through his interpretation of the paintings and artwork, Gehry looked for a new kind of architecture. His search for a new type of architecture culminated in 1978 with his own house in Santa Monica. What was once a traditional Californian house would be redesigned to become one of the most important and revolutionary designs of the 20th century, giving Gehry international prestige and fame. Frank Gehry’s “Own House” uses a mixture of corrugated metal, plywood, chain link and asphalt to construct a new envelope for an existing typical Californian house. This house has been inspired by Joseph Cornell, Ed Moses and Bob Rauschenberg. Gehry comments on his house by saying that there was something “magical” (Friedman M. , 2003, p. 54) about it. He admits having “followed the end of his [my] nose” (Friedman M. , 2003, p. 54) when it came to constructing the “new” house, which led Arthur Drexler, former Director...

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...nian architects. Frank Lloyd Wright, on the other hand is considered as one of the founders of modern architecture but what is certain is that they have both had a tremendous influence on the world of architecture today.

Works Cited

(2000, August-November 12). Retrieved December 15, 2010, from
Carter, R. M. (2001). Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Phaidon Press Limited.
Friedman, M. (2003). Architecture+ Process Gehry Talks. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Friedman, M. (2003). Gehry Talks. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Humphries, L. (1970). Programs and manifestoes on 20th-century architecture. Cambridge Massachusetts: Michael Bullock.
Maddex, D. (2000). 50 Favourite houses by Frank Lloyd Wright. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Zevi, B. (1998). Frank Lloyd Wright. Boston: Birkhauser.

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