Counter Statements
Frank Gehry (Gehry Partners LLP)


Frank Gehry

©Frank Gehry

when I arrived in California in 1947 I was an immigrant from Toronto, Canada. And I think that my Formative years clearly had been in Los Angeles and I'm a Los Angeles architect and my work grows out of the Los Angeles aesthetic, the freeway, the fast food, the movies. It has seeped into my work. My early work was in city planning. I was always a super liberal who felt that building houses for rich people was not very interesting to me. I was more interested in the greater problems of the world. I was a confirmed 'do-gooder', something I find abhorrent now but I still feel that my work is involved with the less expensive kind of housing. I'm very interested now in the 'tract house'. By tract house I mean the individual dwelling that's become sort of symbolic in America, the single family house on its own piece of land, 50 x 150 usually with a 2-car garage and a den and a swimming pool, in various sizes. And it is the most pervasive form of housing in this country.


Haybarn, Orange County, California

©Frank Gehry

This is a picture of a haybarn that I did out in Orange County, California. It was done in 1966. It's the first time that I allowed myself the luxury of making the form the important issue. It was the first challenge, I guess, personally, of functionalism that was not the important issue. It was a small haybarn, it could have been any shape, but housed a few bales of hay and a truck, and it was to be made very cheaply. I made it out of telephone poles and corrugated metal. You can see the form is purely a sculptural form. I guess the simplest roof would have been a gable of some kind which is the norm. This was built very cheaply, in a few weeks, and was a sort of turning point in changing my attitude toward architecture.

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