Norton Beach House
Venice Beach, California
This Frank Gehry-designed beach house seems tame compared to the postmodern architect's curvilinear creations for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. But it still displays his imaginative use of space and materials. Built in 1984 for Hollywood writer Bill Norton, the house features a prominent log arch at the entry and uses rugged materials (including cinderblocks and plywood) to create a series of structures connected by metal staircases. The most visible tower (shown here) serves as an isolated personal study, while a back stairway leads to a third-floor master bedroom.