On May 19th Wright presents Frank Gehry’s Winton Guest House at auction. Composed of six geometric shapes, this Giorgio Morandi-inspired structure stands like a piece of art. A seminal structure that foreshadows Gehry’s masterpiece in Bilbao, this unprecedented sale provides a rare opportunity to acquire an architectural masterpiece by one of the greatest architects of our time.

Architect Frank Gehry

Commissioned 1984

Completed 1987

Space the single-story structure is comprised of two bedrooms with full bathrooms, a central living room, fireplace alcove, loft, kitchenette and garage
Square footage 2,300

Material and Form the sculptural building is composed of six geometric-forms clad in a variety of finishes and building materials to differentiate and divide the space: a thirty-five foot tall pyramid-shaped living room finished in black painted metal; a curved bedroom covered in dolomite limestone from southern Minnesota, a cube-shaped fireplace alcove faced in brick; a large rectangular garage and kitchenette covered in Finnish plywood and aluminum strips; a smaller rectangular loft in galvanized steel is supported by column clad in the same material; and a rectangular second bedroom with a slanted roof also finished in black painted metal

Commissioned by Mike and Penny Winton, 1984
Kirt Woodhouse, 2002
Donated to the University of St. Thomas, 2007

Location and Transportation
Initially situated on the Winton’s 12-acre Lake Minnetonka property the guest house was moved in 2008 to Owatonna where it still stands. Upon purchasing this work, the structure will again need to be relocated.

House & Garden Design Award for Architecture, 1987
Award of Honor from the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1987Time ‘Best of ‘87‘ for Design, 1987
Award of Honor from the National Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1988


The Art of Architecture:
Frank Gehry’s Winton Guest House

By Dr. Victoria Young
Professor of Modern Architectural History and Chair of the Art History Department at the University of St. Thomas

“What is architecture? It’s a three dimensional object, right? So why can’t it be anything?”

Frank Gehry

Timeline of the Winton Guest House

Penny and Mike Winton commissioned Frank Gehry to design their guest house after reading a feature on the up-and-coming architect in New York Times Magazine in 1982.

“What slowly evolved is a very sculptural solution that may be construed as a large outdoor sculpture. When it’s seen from the Philip Johnson house it won’t look as much like a building as like a large sculpture. The parts of the house are very simple forms.”

Frank Gehry

Letters from Philip Johnson

“Franks’ use of spontaneity, improvisation and intuition is as good as any artist that I know of. Those are the three most important tools in any artist’s studio. It is my opinion he is a fantastic artist.”

Larry Bell, artist

Drawings and Plans

“Frank Gehry is an artist and architect. He has always surrounded himself with artists—Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and LA artists such as Ken Price or Ed Ruscha. As a result one might say his work, particularly the Winton Guest House, has a remarkable sculptural quality unique to the profession.”

Christy MacLear, Executive Director, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Gehry and Minnesota

He was no stranger to Minnesota before the project with the Wintons began.

“You get a sense of a man’s daring and creativity, and we were really excited by him”

Penny Winton

About Frank Gehry

Contact Information

For more information about the property, to schedule a viewing or to arrange bidding, please contact:

Richard Wright  |  312 521 7150

Emilie Sims  |  312 235 4181

Auction 19 May 2015
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