Know who Frank Gehry is?
If you know Walt Disney Concert Hall, you should know Frank Gehry.
Frank Gehry And The Walt Disney Concert Hall
Architects are defined by their work. A ridiculous design could earn an architect a headline page in the same way that a fantastic and jaw-dropping design could earn adulation and endless praise from the world. Frank Gehry is defined by his spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall. His other popular and recognizable design is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain.
Home To LA’s Philharmonic Orchestra And Master Chorale
Opened in 2003, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center, bounded by 1st and 2nd Streets and Hope Street, in South Grand Avenue. Its 2,265 seating capacity hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is a Frank Gehry-designed structure that exemplifies Deconstructivism. The building featured the architect’s trademark steel cladding. The architecture educed mixed opinions but everyone is in agreement to the outstanding acoustic sophistication of the concert hall. It was completely in contrast with the hall before it – the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
From Design Competition To Architectural Icon
Back in 1987, the Project started out as an invited design competition where the fundamental design concepts were established, including:
- An accessible and open main entrance
- A complementing design to the existing pavilion
- A large public garden
- A South Grand Avenue grand frontage for pedestrians
- An open backstage area that is generously-spaced
Since the design stage, many design elements have evolved. The most notable are the Hall’s shape, the foyer size, the consideration and subsequent elimination of a chamber hall and a 350-room hotel. It took 16 years for the final structure to take shape in its form today.
Striking Stainless Steel Exterior
The stainless steel curves of its striking exterior, the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main concert auditorium, and the 3.6-acre complex – all these embody the distinct energy and creative soul of Los Angeles and its orchestra. The serene ennobling structure succeeded in giving the people of Los Angeles and the world a new sense of the pleasures of public space. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is undoubtedly an internationally-recognized architectural landmark and boasts of one of the most sophisticated acoustic designs of a concert hall in the world.
LA’s Cultural Destination
The Walt Disney Concert Hall is not just an architectural landmark – it is also a premier cultural destination in Los Angeles. A trip to the city will not be complete without dropping by to visit the famous and iconic Concert Hall. Some of the highlights of the world-renowned concert venue include:
Notable are the large aesthetically-pleasing columns that will greet you as you step inside the Ralph M. Parson’s Foundation Atrium Hall, clad in Douglas fir. Aside from serving the aesthetic requirements, the columns deliver air conditioning and lighting to the main lobby. It is the architect’s design interpretation of “dialogue with nature” as the columns look like “tree trunks”. Throughout the hall, there is an overflowing sense of Lilian Disney’s (concert hall’s initial donor) love of gardening. Aside from the tree trunks, there are flowering motifs seen throughout the public garden area.
It was the original plan of Gehry to use stone for the concert hall but later on decided to use stainless steel. The curves in Gehry’s design were excruciatingly difficult to construct. The level of difficulty prompted the design team to use aerospace software to piece the steel beams together seamlessly, without showing signs of the 300 series stainless steel shims or similar small fastening hardware and parts. The level of construction complexity and design sophistication is considered almost historic in the field. In fact, it was so labor intensive that nearly all of the steel workers signed their names on the structural beams.
A Rose Mosaic
Gehry fully understood Lilian Disney’s love of gardening. He constructed a public garden that has a wonderfully orchestrated fountain where the centerpiece is a beautiful mosaic. The design team broke over 200 vases and 8000 tiles for the mosaic dedicated to Lilian Disney.
This serves as both a public space and urban haven for Downtown Los Angeles. Six different varieties from orchid trees to pink trumpet trees were represented by the 45 trees that came from Los Angeles, some – were bought from private residences. A 350-ton crane was used to plant the trees in the public garden.
Would you want an opportunity to marvel at this LA architectural and cultural landmark?