With the dawn of the modern era, when architecture saw the coming of minimalist principles, Frank O Gehry sought to break the rules. Then the world witnessed the coming of buildings that were strong ‘Architectural expressions’.

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” -Frank Gehry

These structures spoke for themselves. Every curve on the surface, every degree of deviation from the geometry reflected a meaning that was perceived with various probabilities by the users. The springing up of such forms came through a creative brainstorming process that had their inspirations from the early life of the Architect.

Architect Frank O Gehry, had creativity in his gene, as he calls it. With his art inspirations from his parents and time spent at his grandparents’ hardware store, he was open to exploration & creation with the ‘everyday materials’. He started imagining miniature cities with materials as basic and fragmented as wood scraps. These were the foundation of the construction of the deconstructivism style that ‘didn’t follow the rules.

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Display of Frank O Gehry’s mockups displayed at his exhibition- “I have an idea”


His works signified motion. The dynamic outlook of the forms came from the play of rich material composition and the asymmetric profile. Thus the building surface portrayed a different meaning from every point of view.

The Guggenheim museum at Bilbao, that exhibits the unique art collections, is an art in itself. The profile of the building takes up a dynamic form with materials that were equally dynamic. The lustrous surface of the materials reflected sunlight and the fluidity of water from the nearby water body, which made the entire surface signify motion. The form, inspired by the profile of a ‘fish’ relates to the ecosystem while the reflective metal surface relates to waves in the water. This dynamism upon the asymmetric profile further increased the probabilities in user perception.

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From sketch till the building of Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain 

The modern material and outlook further added to the ‘urban effect’ adjacent to the traditional streets of Bilbao. The museum set up a plaza that served as the medium for ‘the traditional to modern transformation’ of the city of Bilbao. Thus, the museum serves at an urban scale level with connections running across it. Today, the Bilbao Museum serves as the pride of the once-less-known-city with its interesting dynamism and flexibility in both Micro and Macro level, attracting population from across the globe.

Contrastingly, the architect’s works such as The Dancing House in Prague raised controversies for its off-style construction in the traditional architecture of Prague that involved Baroque, Gothic, and Art-Nouveau styles. Yet the building stood as a unique one, reflecting a style and language of its own.

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The unique language of the Dancing house of Prague, Czech Republic

Amidst the varied public perception, Frank O Gehry followed his own unique style of architecture that did not believe in ‘boring buildings’ as the architect calls it. He instead believed in dynamism and energy in the forms that actively spoke a user-specific language leaving strong impressions. His mixture of art and modernist material finishes gave a fresh unseen outlook that opened doors to new parameters in architectural styles. This uniqueness gave birth to what came to be known as ‘Deconstructivism’.

“Your best work is your expression of yourself. Now you may not be the greatest at it, but when you do it, you are the only expert.”

–Frank Gehry


Akshaya Muralikumar Architect of Thoughts-Passionate human being looking for the essence in user experiences. Because, perception matters.