Accomplishing all the wishes of the client sometimes became a nightmare and even impossible, but being the client of yourself can be great and horror in the same time. An existing house in Santa Monica, California, has been transformed into a symbol of deconstructivism by the architect Frank Gehry.

Gehry actually kept the existing house almost completely in tact and the new house was built around it. The design wrapped around three sides of the old house on the ground floor, extending the house towards the street and leaving the exterior of the existing home almost untouched. The interior went through lots of changes on two levels. In some places it was stripped to reveal the framing, exposing the joists and wood studs. It was repaired according to the addition, showing both old and new elements. This is especially evident when walking through the rooms of the house and passing by both new doors placed by Gehry and older ones originally in the house.

Photography of Liao Yusheng

Photography of Liao Yusheng

Goldberger was careful to note Gehry’s exacting, though superficially obscured, compositional hand. “What Mr.Gehry is saying, then, is that there can be beauty in such harsh elements when they are carefully wrought and precisely put together, that they can create a new kind of order which can yield as much physical ease and comfort as a conventional house“, he wrote.

Courtesy of storiesofhouses.com

Courtesy of storiesofhouses.com

I agonized about the symbols of the middle class to which I belonged, and to the particular symbols of my future neighbors. I searched for an interpretation of what I found that could suit my family, myself. I dug deep into my own history and education for cues and clues and then followed my intuitions. I loved the idea of leaving the house intact … I came up with the idea of building the new house around it. We were told there were ghosts in the house … I decided they were ghosts of Cubism. The windows… I wanted to make them look like they were crawling out of this thing. At night, because this glass is tipped it mirrors the light in … So when you’re sitting at this table you see all these cars going by, you see the moon in the wrong place … the moon is over there but it reflects here … and you think it’s up there and you don’t know where the hell you are ...”, Frank Gehry.

Project Information :
Architect : Frank Gehry
Location : Santa Monica, California, USA
Project Year : 1978

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