The Dancing House, Prague
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Arguably one of Gehry’s most playful works, The Dancing House in the capital of the Czech Republic was inspired by the twirling forms of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Inside, it’s a series of restaurants, officers, a gallery and a conference centre. At its peak, a dome known as “the Medusa” houses a viewing platform that overlooks the city.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles
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Completed in 2003, the sweeping metallic wings of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is one of Gehry’s most celebrated designs. He conceptualized it with concert-goers in mind, making room for extensive outdoor spaces as well as democratizing the audience’s positions – the usual hierarchy of boxes and balconies found in most concert halls is replaced by single-layered seating.
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Unlike many of Gehry’s other designs, the 4000-square-metre BioMuseo is a riot of vivid colour as well as eye-catching shapes. The museum, which tells the story of Panama’s natural and cultural evolution, stands at the entrance of the Panama Canal and took even longer to build than the canal itself.
The Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain
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The unapologetically modern curves of the Guggenheim building, constructed from titanium, limestone and glass, put this Basque city on the map when it opened in 1997. It was so successful in attracting local visitors and tourism that it turned around the city’s economic fortunes, a phenomenon known as the ‘Bilbao Effect’. The result is much admired, but rarely replicated.
El Peix d’Or, Barcelona
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Fish forms are a favourite motif of Gehry’s but nowhere else are they so literally rendered than in the 52-metre long Peix d’Or, or Fish of Gold, that shimmers above the skyline in Barcelona. Originally designed for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, today the glimmering fish acts as a striking canopy above restaurants and a casino.
DZ Bank Building, Berlin
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Comprising both businesses and residential apartments, the DZ Bank Building is clad in a buff-coloured limestone that matches the Brandenburg Gate. But the true beauty of this building lies deep inside its walls; a curved, sculptural shell – used for meetings and conferences - curls like a crashing wave in the centre of the building’s atrium.
Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle
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One of Gehry’s more controversial designs, this Seattle music and cultural centre was inspired by a smashed Stratocaster guitar. Critics were less generous, with some saying it was nothing more than a ‘blob’. Forbes Magazine named it one the world’s 10 ugliest buildings. But others see its rainbow waves as complementary to the lively offerings inside, including tributes to local band Nirvana and an exhibit dedicated to Marvel superheroes.
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
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Completed in 2014, Gehry constructed this cultural centre for LMVH’s art and culture non-profit on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne park. It’s made up of a number of white blocks, which he referred to as ‘icebergs’, around which are formed wild curving sails that soar from the landscape. Walking through the space's extensive outdoor terraces, you'll discover the building acts as a clever frame for gorgeous vistas, from the Eiffel Tower to nearby fountains.
Der Neue Zollhoff, Dusseldorf
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A collection of three separate buildings constructed of white plaster, red brick and stainless steel on the eastern edge of the Rhine in Dusseldorf, the Der Neue Zollhof complex is the centrepiece of the redevelopment of the Dusseldorf waterfront. Each tower curves and leans into the others, giving them an appealing, if eccentric, elegance.
Dr Chau Chak Wing Building, UTS, Sydney
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There’s an almost Dr Seuss quality to Frank Gehry’s first Australian commission, part of the business school at the University of Technology in Sydney. Its fluid, undulating form has been described as a crumpled paper bag, and a treehouse. It is constructed from 320,000 custom-designed bricks.
Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein, Germany
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The pure white restraint of this 1989 private museum has little of the sparkle and sizzle of Gehry’s later designs. Rather than his usual glass and silver metal, the outer skin is crafted from plaster and titanium-zinc alloy, allowing the curves to speak clearly and without interruption. It was Gehry’s first commission in Europe and today houses one of the largest collections of furniture from the 19th century through to the present day.
Weisman Art Museum, Minnesota
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Set on the shores of the Mississippi River and part of the University of Minnesota, this stainless steel structure presents two very different faces to observers. On one side is a façade of bricks that blends into the surrounding buildings, while the opposite side resembles an abstract fish and waterfall, its curves both chaotic and calm.
New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce, New York
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Standing at 265 metres tall, the New York by Gehry building is the tallest residential tower in the Americas, and one of the tallest anywhere in the world. Like many Gehry designs its ribbon-like curls are designed to catch the light, creating an unmissable shimmer above the downtown skyline.
Marqués de Riscal Hotel, Spain
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Based on the techniques used to build the Guggenheim Bilbao, this hotel has a complex façade that resembles a tangle of coloured purple ribbon dropped amongst the vineyards of Elciego. It forms part of the modern additions to an extended winery complex originally founded by Marqués de Riscal in 1858.
Opus, Hong Kong
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The 12-storey Opus building is Frank Gehry’s first residential project in Asia, located on the prestigious Peak Area that overlooks the city. Like many of his structures there’s a playful dizziness to the design, an organic form that he intended to compliment the surrounding natural landscape. Each apartment in this luxury complex occupies an entire floor and enjoys panoramic views of Victoria Harbour.