It’s rare for an architect to become a household name, but the ones who earn this distinction have their designs lauded for decades to come. Frank Gehry is one of these visionaries who has planned and built awe-inspiring structures since the early 1960s. Known for his bold architectural features and unusual shapes, Gehry’s designs transcend the ordinary building and are truly monumental works of art.
Born Frank Owen Goldberg on February 28, 1929, Gehry grew up in Toronto, Canada. Looking back at his early life, it’s prophetic to the work he’d eventually do; at a young age, Gehry built imaginary cities from the things he found in his grandfather’s hardware store. In 1949, he migrated to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture. (It’s here that he changed his name from Goldberg to Gehry.)
Gehry finished school in Los Angeles and relocated from the west coast to east coast. He attended—but later dropped out of—the Harvard Graduate School of Design, opting for a permanent stay in California. It’s here that he launched his Easy Edges furniture line constructed from layers of corrugated cardboard; although successful, he was still interested in designing buildings over industrial objects. He used the profits earned from Easy Edges to remodel his Santa Monica home.