Frank Gehry Donates $100K to SCI-Arc, Establishing Student Prize

It’s been quite a week for architects named Frank. Following news that Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art have sealed the deal to jointly acquire the vast archive of Frank Lloyd Wright comes word from the left coast that Frank Gehry and his wife, Berta, have donated $100,000 to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). A representative of the school, which is located in a former freight depot in downtown LA’s arts district, described the Gehrys’ gift as “transformative,” and SCI-Arc director Eric Owen Moss is ecstatic. “Thanks to this contribution, we can warranty that SCI-Arc’s advocacy for architecture as a rousing, speculative adventure will endure,” he said in a rousing, speculative, and adventurous statement issued this week by the school. The contribution will endow the Gehry Prize, to be awarded annually to the best graduate thesis projects. And there’s no time like the present: the first Gehry Prize will be awarded at the 2012 graduation ceremony, which takes place on Sunday (architectural theorist Jeffrey Kipnis is the commencement speaker). Meanwhile, plans are in the works to honor Gehry—a SCI-Arc trustee since 1990—at the school’s 40th anniversary reception in April 2013. No rest for the Gehry.