Starchitects Frank Gehry, Louis Sullivan & Frank Lloyd Wright

1. Frank Gehry 1929

Frank Gehry is a Canadian-American architect based in Los Angeles, America. He is widely known for his buildings designed on contemporary architecture of modern movement including the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle and others. He won the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1989.

Frank Gehry

Early Life & Education

Frank Owen Goldberg was born on 28th February 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. His father was Irving Goldberg and his mother was Sadie Thelma. When Frank Gehry was a child, he built little buildings and cities with wooden pieces with his grandmother.

He moved to America with his family in 1947 and lived in California. Initially, he worked as a driver of a delivery vehicle. He enrolled at Los Angeles City College and later studied at the School of Architecture of the University of Southern California and graduated in 1954.

He served in the US Army briefly after finishing college. He started studying urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge. He did not complete his studies there and left the course displeased.

Career & Projects

Frank Gehry went back to Los Angeles and joined the office of Austrian architect Victor David Gruen. In 1961, he travelled to Paris and joined the architect Andre Remondet. In 1962, he established his architectural studio in Los Angeles that became known as Frank Gehry and Associates in the year 1967. Later in 2001, Gehry Partners came into being.

Frank Gehry was involved in many residential, commercial and mixed-use architecture. He designed his own house in Santa Monica, California. He also designed the commercial plaza Santa Monica Place in 1980 and the residential project Norton House, Venice, California in 1984.

Frank Gehry used exposed plywood, chain link fence and corrugated steel in his various projects. Frank Gehry architectural achievements are the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle; Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris, France; Vontz Center for Molecular Studies at the University of Cincinnati; MIT Ray and Maria Stata Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; New World Center, Miami Beach; 8 Spruce Street, New York; Cinematheque Francaise, Paris; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; MARTa Herford museum, Germany; Vitra Design Museum, Germany; Dancing House, Prague; Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota and others. He also designed the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C.

architect Frank Gehry

His other projects are Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro; Binoculars Building or Chiat/Day Building, Venice, Los Angeles; California Aerospace Museum in the California Museum of Science and Industry, Los Angeles.


Frank Gehry was the winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in 1989.

2. Louis Sullivan 1856 – 1924

Louis Sullivan was a leading American architect. He is widely known as the founder of modernism and is referred to as the ‘father of skyscrapers’. He was a prominent architect of the architectural style of the Chicago School that emerged during the early 20th century and was characterized by the original technologies of using steel framing in construction. Louis Sullivan was the mentor of the famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and had been a great influence on many architects pioneering the Prairie School of architectural style.

Louis Henry Sullivan was among “the recognized trinity of American architecture” along with Henry Hobson Richardson and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The famous saying in architecture, “form follows function”, was coined by Louis Henry Sullivan.

Early Life & Education

Louis Henry Sullivan was born on 3rd September 1856 in Boston, Massachusetts, US. His father was Patrick Sullivan and his mother was Andrienne List. When he was 16 years old, Louis Sullivan entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he studied architecture for a year. He then moved to the city of Philadelphia and joined with studio of American architect Frank Heyling Furness. The majority of architect Frank Heyling Furness’s projects halted due to the economic recession Long Depression of 1873 and Sullivan was let go.

Career & Projects

Louis Sullivan went to Chicago in 1873 and played a significant role in the building construction after the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. He joined the architect William LeBaron Jenney, known for his first structure in steel frame. Louis Sullivan worked with him for a few months and went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Beaux Arts architecture school) for one year. He came back to Chicago and joined the practice of Joseph S. Johnston & John Edelman to serve as a draughtsman. Louis Sullivan designed the fresco secco for the interiors of the tabernacle using stencils on dry plaster.

Louis Sullivan joined the architect Dankmar Adler in 1879 and came in partnership with his company in 1880. The new architectural firm Adler & Sullivan worked on several projects such as the Auditorium Building, Chicago finished in the year 1889. The building consisted of a theatre with a capacity of 4200 seats; offices; hotels and retail.

Louis Sullivan Buildings also include the Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Missouri; the Schiller Theatre Building for German Opera Company, Chicago; the Sullivan Center (Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building), Chicago; Guaranty Building (Prudential Building); the Chicago Stock Exchange Building and others.


Louis Sullivan was honoured with the American Institute of Architects – AIA Gold Medal received in 1944 after his death.

He died on 14th April 1924.

3. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 – 1959)

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect and designer. He was an educator as well as an author. He is widely known for his Falling Water house, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Taliesin, Taliesin West and numerous other architectural projects. He won the RIBA Gold Medal and the American Institute of Architects – AIA Gold Medal.

Early Life & Education

Frank Lloyd Wright was born on 8th June 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, America. His father was William Cary Wright who was a musician, composer and orator. His mother was Anna Lloyd Jones. Frank Lloyd Wright initially studied at Madison High School. In 1886, he entered the University of Wisconsin to study the subject of civil engineering but he did not complete his degree.

Career & Projects

Frank Lloyd Wright joined the office of American architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee as a draughtsman, in 1887 in Chicago and worked at All Souls Church, Chicago for Jenkin Lloyd Jones, his uncle and Hillside Home School, Spring Green. He met architects George Grant Elmslie, George W. Maher and Cecil Corwin there. He also worked with the studio Beers, Clay and Dutton.

In the year 1888, he joined the studio Adler & Sullivan where he worked with American architect Louis Henry Sullivan. Frank Lloyd Wright established his own architectural practice in Chicago in the year 1893. In 1898, he opened a design studio in his residence in Oak Park, Illinois.

FL Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright focused on designing architecture for humanity in harmony with the surroundings. He emphasized the concept of organic architecture, the design approach that propagates harmony among human dwellings, environment and nature. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the well-known residence Falling Water in 1935 based on organic architecture. He was largely involved in the movements of architecture during the 20th century inspiring designers and architects around the world. He influenced the architecture of American houses and created beautiful architecture.

He was the founder of the Prairie School architectural style that emerged during the 19th and 20th centuries in the US. Prairie School architectural movement was characterized by horizontal straight lines, horizontal windows, flat roofing or hipped roofing, vast cantilevered eaves, and solid masses in harmony with nature and landscape. He pioneered his vision of the Usonian house (Usonia refers to the United States) in the urban development of Broadacre City. Frank Lloyd Wright designed several museums, hotels, skyscrapers, schools, offices, churches and numerous commercial buildings as well as interior products and furniture.


He is the author of numerous writings and books. In the year 1991, the American Institute of Architects awarded Frank Lloyd Wright with the title ‘the greatest American architect of all time’.

Frank Lloyd Wright died on 9th April 1959 in Phoenix, Arizona, America at the age of 91 years.