Frank Gehry Enters His 81st Year in a Bit of a Slump


In case you weren’t invited to what was sure a blowout of a birthday party, Frank Gehry turned 80 just this past Saturday. And now that’s he’s reached such a ripe old age, finding him with decades of wisdom and at the very top of his chosen profession, you’d think the starchitect would be content and happy. Unfortunately, he’s also been hit with the economic gloom, with ongoing issues of career defining projects cancelled and having to institute mass layoffs, he’s apparently coming to some stark realizations, such as a) his era of loud, personal “Gehry!” screaming projects might be over in the face of hard, more constrained times, b) the work has slowed way down, and c) he’s reaching the end of his career and would like to go out on a bang, but now probably isn’t the time with less money out there available for big projects. But hey, at least he has a shiny new office to look forward to going to every morning, doesn’t he? Here’s a bit:

“I’m prepared to do that again, if I have to,” he said. “Today, if there’s frugality, I’m ready. I’ll do corrugated again. It’s fun to work that way, and it’s easy. Why spend all the money for fancy details and stuff? You don’t need it. You can get the passion with simpler things.”

Still, the size of the firm over the last several years was no accident: Gehry wanted the office to be a behemoth with global reach, and he drove it toward that goal.