The First Frank Gehry House in Santa Monica: A Groundbreaking Architectural Marvel

The iconic architect Frank Gehry left an indelible mark on the city of Santa Monica with his first residential masterpiece in 1978. This exceptional creation epitomizes Gehry's distinct architectural style and continues to inspire architects...

The iconic architect Frank Gehry left an indelible mark on the city of Santa Monica with his first residential masterpiece in 1978. This exceptional creation epitomizes Gehry's distinct architectural style and continues to inspire architects and designers worldwide.

Unveiling Gehry's Vision

Before acquiring the property, Gehry carefully assessed the advantages and disadvantages of the existing gambrel-roofed Dutch Colonial bungalow. Despite the surrounding area experiencing a surge in apartment construction, Gehry saw the potential in the unique features of the property. These included the mesmerizing green asphalt shingle roof, striking pink asbestos shingles, practical plywood walls in the den, a prime corner lot location, a row of majestic Lebanon cedars, and a magnificent giant euphorbia cactus in the backyard.

Technical Information

The Frank Gehry House in Santa Monica is a testament to Gehry's expertise and innovation. Some key details about the house include:

  • Architects: Frank Owen Gehry
  • Location: 1002 22nd Street, Santa Monica, California, USA
  • Topics: Corrugated Metal, Single Family Houses
  • Architectural style: Deconstructivist
  • Scale: 2 stories
  • Project Year: 1977-1978
  • Second Renovation: 1991-1992

A Look Inside Gehry's Vision

Gehry's desire to experiment with materials he frequently used, such as metal, plywood, chain link fencing, and wood framing, led to his groundbreaking approach. He chose to wrap the exterior of the bungalow with a new façade while leaving the original visible. Glass cubes were strategically inserted into the other sides of the house, creating a captivating interplay of old and modern elements.

Gehry's visionary approach transformed the interior as well. The house featured exposed framing, revealing the joists and wood studs. Glass structures were integrated into the original exterior, flooding the space with natural light and offering breathtaking views. The unconventional design elements created a sense of movement and showcased Gehry's fascination with Cubism.

The Dynamic Interplay of Movement and Incompleteness

Gehry drew inspiration from artists like Marcel Duchamp and Jackson Pollock, who embraced movement and incompleteness in their works. Gehry's house exudes a modest and casual appearance, almost as if it was spontaneously assembled. The exposed wooden frames, combined with the stripped walls, create a sense of process and movement, giving the interior a unique "sketch quality."

Gehry's Residence Plans

The Santa Monica house served as Gehry's laboratory and showroom, attracting both admiration and controversy. Some neighbors were initially shocked and angry, but the project also caught the attention of important clients, enabling Gehry to work on larger and more ambitious projects. The second renovation in 1991-1992 incorporated changes to accommodate the evolving needs of the Gehry family, including adding a lap pool and a guesthouse.

An Architectural Visionary

Frank Gehry's influence extends far beyond the boundaries of Santa Monica. Born in Toronto, Canada, Gehry is renowned for his imaginative and unconventional designs. Throughout his illustrious career, he has pushed the boundaries of architecture, incorporating unique forms and materials that challenge traditional conventions. Some of his most notable works include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris.

Gehry's first Santa Monica house showcases his unparalleled talent and sets the stage for his future architectural marvels. His work continues to captivate and inspire, leaving an enduring legacy in the world of architecture.

Glass Cube in Frank Gehry House in Santa Monica Glass Cube in Frank Gehry House in Santa Monica

Exterior View of the residence

Corner View © ArchEyes

Front Facade Entrance

Exterior View of the facade of the house © ArchEyes

Garage Entrance of the House © ArchEyes

Openings © ArchEyes

Facade View © ArchEyes

Openings of the Gehry House Residence in Santa Monica

Balcony

Kitchen of Gehry House Residence in Santa Monica

Bedroom

Model of Gehry House Residence in Santa Monica

Photograph from 1980

Axonometric of Gehry House Residence in Santa Monica Credit: Frank Gehry

Axonometric of Gehry House Residence in Santa Monica Credit: Frank Gehry

Floor Plans Credit: Frank Gehry

Elevations of the house Credit: Frank Gehry

Sketch of Gehry House Residence in Santa Monica Credit: Frank Gehry

About Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect, is renowned for his imaginative and unconventional designs. Born in Toronto, Gehry later established his architectural practice, Gehry Partners, in Los Angeles. His work challenges traditional architectural conventions by incorporating unique and complex forms, often using unexpected materials like metal and glass. Some of his most notable works include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Gehry's influence in the field of architecture is undeniable, inspiring generations of architects and designers.

Notes:

  1. Frank Gehry: The Masterpieces by Jean-Louis Cohen
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