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MAY 2012





The Art of Forward Progress Frank Gehry loves to sketch. It is the beginning of his architectural process. From Gehry’s sketches flow the models, one after another, each a refinement, that will eventually become finished buildings unlike any others in the architectural world. It is this sketch quality, what he calls the “tentativeness, the messiness,” that Gehry clings to as a way of guarding against formula or repetition.


A progress from sketch, technical drawing, model, to finished building of the Guggenheim Museum.


Based in Santa Monica, Gehry works with a formidable team of architects and model makers to bring his sketches to life. The resulting structures are imbued with the dynamic energy of Gehry’s original sketches and with the improbable nature of his study models. This process will be known as the Gehry Residence.


Gehry and his wife, Berta, raised a family in this house, where they still live which showcases Gehry’s architecture works, in the most practical and fundamental way. Gehry’s concern for the people who live and work in his buildings and how they embrace and envelop the people in and around them, and how that embrace is then returned.

This is a unique quality of Gehry’s works, and just one reason his fame is so widespread and universal. People feel welcome in his buildings: This, for an architect, is the most welcome validation of all.

To left:

view from north Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, under construction


design process model


gain is to go forward and not look “The onlyback,wayYouto can learn from the past, but you cant

Gehry takes his sketch ideas and, as quickly as possible, makes them 3-dimensional, the better to see how his buildings work, how they fit with their neighbors, how they function in the most essential way. Model after model is scanned into a sophisticated computer and rendered.


Gehry’s designs structure dramatically blur the line with art and architecture, yet the strong appeal of his sculptural designs does not obscure the role of function. He follows a painstaking process of subtle vision and revision.

continue to be in the past.

To right:

north Guggenheim Museum


design models for the Disney Concert Hall

The buildings are really built from the inside out. Wooden block massing studies are constructed and then reconstructed in step with Gehry’s own evolving sketches. Gestural models of cardboard, wood, and cloth act as

intermediaries, keeping all Gehry conscious of the three-dimensional. Then the process, forces him to “work in two or three scales at once.” This now forces him to forget about the model as an “object of desire” and instead to concentrate on how the building works.


Arkitekt Magazine  
Arkitekt Magazine  

Magazine cover and one story layout for a magazine created by myself.