One of the first public projects of Gehry is the Barcelona Fish – a huge fish sculpture placed on Barcelona’s waterfront for the 1992 Olympics. The monumental fish sculpture functions as a landmark in the Olympic Village, anchoring a retail complex designed by Gehry Partners within a larger hotel development by Skidmore, Owing & Merill.
This fish sculpture was also a landmark in the history of Frank O. Gehry & Associates, inaugurating the firm's use of computer-aided design and manufacturing. The project's financial and scheduling constraints prompted James M. Glymph, a partner in the firm, to search for a computer program that would facilitate the design and construction process, leading to the adoption of CATIA (computer aided three-dimensional interactive application). The sculpture was modeled entirely in 3D and delivered directly to the fabricators as a 3D model. The fish is a frequently recurring motif in Gehry's work, serving as inspiration and mascot.