Legendary architect Frank Gehry has designed a Los Angeles centre for children affected by violence, free of charge.
Gelila Assefa Puck who sits on the board of the trauma center for the Watts-based Children’s Institute Inc (CII) is a friend of Gehry and recruited him over lunch at the Hotel Bel-Air.
“We explained what the agency does and what we stand for and he gave me a handshake right there, offering to work pro bono,” said fashion designer Puck.
“He cares very deeply about the community.”
Gehry (pictured centre), who was assisted by his colleagues Precious Aiyeloja (left) and his son Sam (right) said: “The people whom I met from CII made an impression on me of their commitment and deep feelings about the children that they could help with this facility.
“It was without hesitation that I said yes.”
His design features a series of two-storey, garden-surrounded buildings which echo the modest scale of the neighborhood, their shiny roofs the only Gehry-esque flamboyant note.
“This building is not fancy but has all of my heart and soul in it. I worked hard to make spaces for the kids and families that would use it so that they would feel special,” said Gehry