It is not often that an architecture master reinvents himself, but that is precisely what Pritzker Prize winning architect Frank Gehry has done. Gehry, who first won international recognition with his own residence, a masterpiece of post-modern architecture, has revealed what can only be described as the first post post-modern architectural work, the New Gehry Residence, completely confounding both his critics and promoters alike.
The New Gehry Residence is located in a nearby suburb of Los Angeles is the newest reinvention of Gehry’s signature architecture. The house, which seems to resemble your typical two story McMansion, has all the details that one would expect from his work. The odd shapes resting one on top of the other seem to look like a gable roof, but are in fact so complex, that it took NASA engineers, and builder and his crew, 6 months to make them work. “We couldn’t get them to work together” said one of NASA’s chief engineers. “When Frank asked us to have the larger shape be nested on top of the other two, we new that this was going to be challenge.”
And as expected, the materials used in the construction of the building are extremely advanced, as only an architect of Gehry’s stature could muster. Large PVC-framed double glazed windows, gypsum plasterboard walls and an advanced timber framing system are all part of the new house. Of course, in one of his callbacks to his earlier work Gehry has used, once again, titanium for the roof and siding materials.
If it seems like this is simply a McMansion, be assured, it is not. This is the work of a modern genius, an artist in his prime. The New Gehry Residence is a masterful adaptation of the architectural typological expression of the modern American homeowner. It expresses, both without any irony and by having a profound sense of modern causticness, the expression of contemporary urbanism. A critical look at the consumer expressionism of the spatial factors involved in the formal relationships of how the shapes simply seem as though they formed themselves. It is a simple, yet brilliant reinvention of the modern American house. It is a work of genius.