10 of the Most Iconic Buildings by Architect Frank Gehry You Should Know

Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

Frank Gehry Architecture

Photo: PA (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Guggenheim Bilbao is one of Gehry's most famous architectural designs. Its planning and construction happened without little fanfare, and when it was revealed in 1997, it gained massive publicity. The structure itself is a work of art; visitors can walk all the way around the museum to admire the how the building seemingly changes form along the way.


Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, Washington

Frank Gehry Architecture

Photo: Cacophony (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Gehry's inspiration for the Museum of Pop Culture was rock ‘n' roll. According to the institution, he “purchased several electric guitars, sliced them into pieces, and used them as building blocks for an early model design.” The final result features 21,000 individually cut and shaped stainless steel and aluminum shingles that cloak the building in an iridescent wave.


The IAC Building, New York, New York

Frank Gehry Architecture

Photo: ~~×α£đ~~es (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The IAC Building is located in Chelsea and marks Gehry's first structure in New York. Reminiscent of a beehive, the building has two major levels and largely conceals the fact that this is a 10-story design. The white and grey glass exterior represents a shift for Gehry, who had originally planned for wrinkled titanium. (Barry Diller, head of the IAC, ordered for the glass change.)


Richard B. Fisher Center, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Frank Gehry Architecture

Photo: Daderot (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Opened in 2003, the Richard B. Fisher Center is a small concert hall that showcases opera, orchestras, and other musical performances. Of the design, Gehry writes, “The front façade of the building can be interpreted as a theatrical mask that covers the raw face of the performance space. Its abstract forms prepare the visitor to be receptive to experiencing the performances that occur within. In passing through the doors of the building, entering into the building’s lobby, and settling into its theaters, audience members go through a series of transforming experiences that prepare them for the performance about to begin.”


Peter B. Lewis Building, Cleveland, Ohio

Peter B. Lewis Building

The Peter B. Lewis Building houses the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. Stainless steel ribbons frame the brick exterior. Inside, an open floor plan symbolizes—and encourages—cross-disciplinary learning.


Frank Gehry: Website

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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