Frank Gehry: 90 years to reconcile ourselves with history.

But the Lord came down to observe the city and the tower that the men were building, and it was said: They all form a single town and they speak only one language; this is only the beginning of his works, and all that is propose they can achieve it.”

Genesis 11, 6.

Most of us know the story of the tower of babel ends with a population scattered around the world speaking new languages as a punishment for having pretended to be God; And somehow we deserve it. Without However, there are people who, even having the gift of being able to build something huge and divine, they do not use it in order to separate humanity; for him On the contrary, they intend to create new spaces to unify and bring people together in an atmosphere of peace and harmony, building monuments that honor the most sublime that can come out of the human being; one such person is Frank Gehry who is the father of valiant architectural achievements and who celebrates his 90th birthday.

The passion with which Frank works warns that beyond wanting to position of a site with a building, intends to make the work itself dance and move to the rhythm of the place where it is built a base of his authorship, thus showing us that houses do not need to be just a Cube. With a cubist enthusiasm, he plays with the shapes of the building that twist and wrinkle. Every one of your actions becomes an attraction automatic tourist, for example, Bilbao in Spain with the Guggenheim Museum. Gehry also left a trail in the Czech Republic, where he collaborated on the Prague Dancing House.

Frank Gehry in a documentary about Sydney Pollack said, "Always I like to work with my hands. My grandmother carried a bag full of clippings wood in the stove. From time to time, the bag opened and he dropped it into the I usually. Together we sat down and began to build the pieces. We did cities and roads. It was so much fun. When I then wrestled with the question of what wanted to do when I grew up, I somehow went back to the memories in those moments. Intuitively, I thought maybe I could do something like that."

Gehry's road to world fame, which is quite unusual in his business, but it was long. From childhood his talent for drawing was noted. When he was thirteen, a rabbi told his mother that the son had a golden hand He also left an analysis of the manuscript, when Gehry learned of who would become a famous architect. Although he is known as a American architect, has Canadian roots. He was born in 1929 in Toronto, with the name of Ephraim Owen Goldberg. The He comes from a poor family of Polish Jews.

He studied at the University of Southern California, graduating in 1951, and studied at Harvard in 1956 and 1957. At that time, he changed his name to Frank Gehry thanks to his wife Anita Snyder who named him after him. "When she wants something, she does it," Gehry said in a document. The name, he said, changed because of the anti-Semitism he had encountered in childhood and during university studies. In 1962, he founded his own company called Frank O. Gehry Associates in Los Angeles, initially working on business center projects and similar commercial contracts. Among other things, the Santa Monica Place shopping center, which opened in 1980. However, at the same time, Gehry opened his eyes

Gehry, also worked in his own house, a house that he had bought with his second wife, Bertou Isabel Aguilera. "The house has discovered Bertha. It was cozy, it had a small garden and we could allow. When we bought it, I realized that I had to do something with it before we moved. I liked the idea of leave the house intact and I came to build a new house around it”, Gehry said. He used wire fences, corrugated sheets and wooden beams, which they found no enthusiasm in the neighbors. What he did with his own house, liked the nearby store, but not much. As an architect, he worked on it because he had to feed himself. But he decided to terminate such contracts. It was like a cliff dive. Despite the stress he was carrying, he felt happy.

Frank arrived at his first European project. It was Vitre Design Museum in Weil, Germany, in 1987. It showcased Gehry's passion for working with the form and interest in curvature. To capture his ideas, he used descriptive geometry at the time, but when you set the result it didn't it was perfect. “The drawing did not show reality. I was frustrated, so I asked the people in the office if there wasn't a better way to describe these things. That made us use computers,” Gehry said. There he was able to materialize his ideas in a simulator three-dimensional. 

In the 1990s, he introduced the spirit of modern architecture in the Czech capital. The Czech architect of Croatian origin, Vlado Milunič, worked on the construction of the slopes at the corner of the Prague's Rašín embankment and Jiráskovo náměstí and invited Gehry to cooperate. To the At first, he was thinking of the Frenchman Jean Nouvel, but he also succeeded Gehry because he said he would do anything for the country that the United States gave to Jaromir Jagra. The dance house, now called the Milunić building and Gehry in the center of Prague, opened in 1996. The unofficial name was given to the building two towers reminiscent of the characters of the Fred Astar dancers and Ginger Rogers, which makes each floor different. On top of the tower, which symbolizes the figure of a man, there is a dome with a construction made of stainless steel mesh: the head of the jellyfish.

Gehry verified the possibilities of using models of computer in 3D in the Prague contract, which was later applied in the Spanish city of Bilbao a port community with the steel and shipbuilding was chosen as a future center of culture thanks to the construction of a museum that the Guggenheim Foundation decided to open in Europe. Gehry he had no idea what he had on his hands.

For the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, he had the idea of ​​a complex curved wall. Instead of concrete, a skeleton of light steel forms the basis. Gehry wanted to cover with something that would act as a living organism and at the same time withstand the unfavorable conditions of the atmosphere transmitted by the coastal city. So that the choice was inclined towards titanium, a very light and solid material that does not corrode causing a layer of titanium dioxide to form on the surface in contact with oxygen. Even Soviet sailors, whose submarines used titanium, they noted that the oxide layer also caused a color change, and the submarine was nicknamed "goldfish". Even the mantle of the Guggenheim Museum building is like thousands of fish scales. And when you move around it, the walls change color gradually. The building looks like a basement beyond the terrestrial grounded in Bilbao. has a strange impression because it has nothing to do with any of the buildings that are around, no However, it is as if the building belongs to the port forever.

Then it came as a peculiarly shaped jelly cake, Gehry's house at Experience Seattle in 2000, with blue, red, silver and bright walls, it looks like curtains from where you can't see the angle Right. Another Gehry icon was completed in 2003, a building for Walt Disney, the concert hall in Los Angeles, which is found floating in the center of the city like a gigantic iron flower, exposing beams exposed metal, bolts and pipes, stone stairs and light wood. After its opening, it became a symbol of the city. In Paris, in the 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation building is born, competing with the Tower Eiffel in the middle of the Boulogne Forest. Evoking a ship with glass sails flying in the trees. The building consists of more than 3,500 glass panels. It houses a collection of contemporary art with eleven exhibition spaces.

In recent years, Gehry has designed a new headquarters modern Facebook building in Menlo Park, California, the seven-story headquarters of the same company in London's West End, or the Colorful Biomuseum in Panama. While Therefore, the last building with Gehry's calligraphy is the new building of the Sydney University of Technology, among others, his first project at the Australian continent. In an interview with Sydney Pollack, however, He admitted that starting a new project is always difficult. "Always I am afraid of not knowing what to do. It is a terrible moment. And then I start and surprises”, said the architect.

Centuries and centuries have passed since that punishment of the tower of babel, the buildings have changed, the whole life has changed, now, in instead of a building being held to divine standards to make anger some god, is created to dwell with nature and at the same time being part of a community, and at the same time these new spaces achieve that all the languages ​​of the world come together again in an act of humble reconciliation with the same God, this thanks to such human creations in architecture as those of Frank Gehry.

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Rocío García