Frank Gehry: a metal cladding master

Frank Gehry is an icon of architecture, who has been designing ground-breaking sculptures and buildings during a career spanning over fifty years. His work perfectly combines architecture with art, and has developed a signature style of organically shaped structures in reflective metal materials.

Perhaps his most renowned work of all is the gargantuan Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, as seen in the above image. Always aiming to create a structure that becomes part of the place it is located, the Guggenheim consists of sweeping curved sections which blend the building with the nearby bridge and riverside; shallow dents made by fixing clips in the middle of each metal tile also reflect the water and Spanish sunshine with an extraordinary rippling effect. With nineteen gallery spaces, the museum’s striking metal exterior echoes the industrial past of Bilbao, and the building itself gave an incredible boost to the city’s economy. The elaborate curves are made of limestone and glass, and cladded in titanium.

Image from raredelights.com

Image from raredelights.com

Famous for using unorthodox resources such as chain link and corrugated metal, Gehry’s work is often surrounded by controversy as well as admiration. Techniques he uses such as oil canning are often considered unfavourable and unattractive in the industry, but Gehry, who believes the effect adds character, has revolutionised this attitude by building his work around it.

For the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, Gehry used a lighter, 22 gauge cladding in his specification in order to purposefully induce oil canning and a denting effect, with a stunning mirrored results that almost melts seamlessly into the sky:

Image from mbjeng.com

Image from mbjeng.com

One of his most aesthetically beautiful creations, the Experience Music Project in Seattle uses multi-coloured metal cladding to give the effect of oil running through water:

Image from architecture.about.com

Image from architecture.about.com

The uniting element of all these designs is metal cladding, using metals from aluminium to copper or titanium, to create an incredible vision of man-made, industrial materials in organic forms with such fluidity, they could be billowing gently in the wind.

Metal façade cladding is a product of the future, and here at Sotech we specialise in bespoke Aluminium Composite Material cladding panels. See the Products tab, or get in touch for more information on this extraordinary material.

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