Architecture: The Frank Gehry Experience

He has a groovy Seattle museum and buildings coming everywhere. Is he the wave of the future?

When his uproarious new building, the Experience Music Project, opens later this week in Seattle, it will be easy to forget that Frank Gehry, who is the world's most famous architect, was once just the world's most famous strange architect. That was in the 1980s, when to some people his angular rethinking looked all elbows. That was also when his mixture of high concept with cheap materials--chain link fencing, corrugated metal, pressed plywood--was getting his work labeled "populist," which generally means brainy but cheap. In 1981, when he was named Architect of the Year by his peers in California, he figured...

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