Air and Space Gallery, California Science Center | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Air and Space Gallery, California Science Center

The California Aerospace Museum was internationally acclaimed architect Frank Gehry’s first major public work. Completed in 1984, the museum is a celebration of California’s history as a leader in the aviation and aerospace industries. It was originally conceived as a giant, hangar-like space. By cantilevering and sloping the walls, Gehry increased the museum’s volume and exhibition space on its narrow site hugging the south façade of a 1913 brick armory. The ingenious use of space and light can be seen as an allusion to the challenges of aerospace design, which also requires the maximum use of a small area and the creation of numerous viewing perspectives.

The California Aerospace Museum is the first large-scale realization of the idea of the "frozen explosion," created though geometric and distinct exterior shapes, which would become one of Gehry’s signature design elements.

The east side of the building is stucco, upright, and rectangular. Pulling away from it is the west side’s angular, seven-sided polygon with street metal cladding. Further emphasizing the idea of frozen blast, a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter jet is suspended in takeoff, angled upwards from the south wall. The late 1950s fighter jet, a product of California aviation leader Lockheed Aircraft Company (founded in Hollywood in 1926), serves as the building’s signage. Following the museum’s completion, Gehry received commissions for high-profile museum and public projects all over the world.

Haugh Performing Arts Center
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Haugh Performing Arts Center

A sprawling building in Late Modern style with some hints of Brutalism, the Center hosts up to 200 performances each year and was a major achievement for the first junior college in L.A. County.
Petal House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Petal House

Architect Eric Owen Moss collaborated with the owner to rethink the concept of what a house should be, resulting in a Deconstructivist design that juxtaposes logic and disorder.
Gehry House
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Gehry House

Starting with a Dutch Colonial Revival and building around it, Gehry would strip much of the interior while adding a new exterior of wood clad in plywood, glass, corrugated metal, and chain-link fencing.