Frank Gehry

Designing Out of the Box

Daniel Libeskind makes glass and steel thunderbolts. Zaha Hadid goes in for tilting thrusts. Lately Norman Foster is doing armored towers. Among the world's most prominent architects, no one's work looks much like anyone else's. No one presumes to be handing down, like Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once did, the chief forms from which all others are supposed to flow. But with the singular spectacle of his Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain--all that glistening titanium, those war-whooping arabesques--Frank Gehry in 1997 undid everyone's idea of what a building looks like. Ever since, his greatest influence has been this: he has...