If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise. The latest outlandish creation from the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, the Fondation Louis Vuitton (00 33 140 69 96 00; fondationlouisvuitton.fr; €14/£11), opened on 27 October in the bosky Bois de Boulogne outside Paris. Dubbed the "glass cloud" and likened by some to a spaceship, this venue is a jumble of 12 glass "sails" cradling a $130m (£82m) museum. Inside the bright white space are 11 galleries, an auditorium and a restaurant – along with sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is currently enjoying a bit of a Gehry moment. At the Pompidou Centre (00 33 144 78 12 33; centrepompidou.fr; €11-€13) a major retrospective of his work is under way (until 26 January), showcasing 60 of his most important projects around the globe from the 1960s to the present day, including his first museum in Europe, the Vitra Design Museum (00 49 7621 702 3200; design-museum.de) in Germany (1989), the gobsmacking Guggenheim, which helped to rejuvenate downtown Bilbao (1997), the Walt Disney Concert Hall (2003) in Los Angeles and the Beekman Tower, New York (2011) – now New York by Gehry. There are no fewer than 220 drawings and 80 models on display.
Renowned for his over-the-top architectural extravaganzas, it's no surprise that Gehry's daring deconstructivist designs have become tourist attractions in their own right. Companies offering specialist trips include ACE Cultural Tours (01223 841055; aceculturaltours.co.uk), whose one-week trip to Bilbao and Barcelona led by the consultant lecturer at Christie's Education, Peter Higginson, next year includes an afternoon in the Guggenheim. The £1,790 price tag includes flights, half-board accommodation and all excursions.
Meanwhile, in Barcelona a new start-up, Trip4real (00 34 93 18 95 655; trip4real.com), which offers Spanish city tours led by locals, has a three-hour "From Gaudi to Gehry – Architecture Tour Barcelona" with the architect Janice Moret Chesa for €150 (£120).
Born in Toronto in 1929, Gehry headed south to study at the University of Southern California and Harvard, and has been based in Los Angeles since the 1960s. In 2000, however, he was commissioned to revamp the Art Gallery of Ontario (00 1 416 979 6648; ago.net; adult C$19.50/£11) in Toronto, which, with around 73,000 works of art, houses one of the largest art collections in North America. The stunning redesign, completed in 2008, incorporates a soaring glass roof allowing light to flood into the building, an additional four-storey south wing of glass and titanium, and a stunning sculptural staircase.
Titan (0800 988 5823; titantravel.co.uk) has a new 15-day tour for 2015, "Great Cities of Eastern Canada with Nova Scotia", which includes three nights in Toronto and a sightseeing tour of the city from £1,999 per person including flights, accommodation and excursions.
From a radical redesigned Santa Monica bungalow to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Architecture Tours LA (00 1 323 464 7868; architecturetoursla.com) can show you around Los Angeles, flitting from one Gehry masterpiece to the next. The five- to six-hour tour costs $125 (£79) per person.
Bon Voyage (0800 316 3012; bon-voyage.co.uk) offers a four-night break in LA including a five-hour escorted tour of Frank Gehry's work from 1965 to the present. It begins downtown, before taking in Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Venice. From £995 (£630) per person including flights and four nights' room-only accommodation.
New York, New York
At 76 storeys high, New York by Gehry (newyorkbygehry.com) was famed for being the tallest residential building in the western hemisphere (that title has since gone to a Manhattan neighbour) when it was completed. You can wander the streets gazing upwards – and get a crick in your neck – but to appreciate truly the New York skyline, take to the water on an architecture-themed boat tour.
The AIANY Around Manhattan Architecture Tour (001 212 913 9991; sail-nyc.com) circumnavigates Manhattan, taking in the "starchitecture" along the waterfront, passing under 18 bridges in a stylish teak-decked 1920s-style yacht. The two-and-three-quarter-hour cruise costs $76 (£48) and includes champagne, beer and wine.
For the ultimate architectural escape, bed down in a Gehry-designed luxury hotel in Spain. The Marques de Riscal (00 34 945 180 880; hotel-marquesderiscal.com) is a 43-room retreat in the Rioja region. Opened in 2006, it's textbook Gehry with its dramatic curves and titanium roof, the interiors featuring soaring ceilings, soft maple wood and bespoke cloud lamps.
Grape Escapes (01763 273 373; grapeescapes.net) has a two-night break here from £685 per person B&B including private transfers and a one-day private guided tour visiting three Rioja wineries, including a tour and tasting at Marques de Riscal's winery.
Brave New World
The initial phase of Gehry's first Latin American project has been completed. Panama's Biomuseo (biomuseopanama.org; $22/£14) will feature eight galleries when it's finished, but for now you can mooch around an exhibition on the Panama Bridge of Life showcasing the country's flora and fauna as well as models of the large mammals that crossed through here 20 million years ago, when the isthmus became a land bridge linking Central and South America.Reuse content