Gehry House at Santa Monica, California, designed by Frank Gehry. built in 1978 this was his first ‘Deconstructivist’ Building. Photo: Quintin Lake

Frank Gehry’s house built in 1978 in Santa Monica represented the first and radical steps of Deconstructivist movement in architecture. Gehry took his seemingly ordinary house in Santa Monica and began changing things in incredibly strange ways. He took a step beyond the playful reworkings of Postmodern architecture, where traditional design symbols were reinterpreted, and instead starting using materials and strategies few applied to architectural projects at the time. Gehry started by tearing the drywall off of interior walls to expose structural studs buried in the old house, then subtracted and added architectural elements seemingly without a coherent plan throughout the building. He added chain link and plywood to the exterior. His transformations were responses to various impulses and were allowed to coexist without a clear rhyme or reason, flying in the face of both Modernism and Postmodernism – designs from which were typically justified in terms of some kind of central concept. This house was the start of Gehry’s freestyle architectural expression which has culminated in recent times in his most well known buildings the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

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