The Walt Disney concert hall is a world-class performance venue to the privileged people of Los Angeles as well as a tribute to Walt Disney’s contribution to the art from his wife Lillian Disney. As we all know Walt Disney is the father of imagination therefore the architecture of the concert hall is accurate for Walt Disney’s personality. Indeed the building reflects the personality of Walt Disney. Herbert Muschamp from the New York Times called this building ‘the French curve in the city of T-square’.
Introduction of Frank O Gehry and his work
It is said ‘don’t wait to think out of the box – create your own box’ this saying very aptly applies to the works of Frank O Gehry. Frank O Gehry was born on 28th Feb 1929 in Toronto. He is a Canadian American architect. He studied architecture at the University of Southern California (1949–51; 1954) and city planning at Harvard University (1956–57). The contemporary style of architecture is Frank Gehry’s style. Gehry sees architecture as an art. Therefore he sees building as sculpture and every piece of architecture as a painting. Gehry’s architecture has no real rules, it’s the open-ended and experimental architecture like art.
- Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
- Construction started: 1999
- Completed: 2003
- Floor space: 27,220 m2
- Architect: Gehry Partners, LLP
- General contractor: M.A. Mortenson
- Construction cost: $274 million
- Owner: County of Los Angeles
In one interview Gehry once told that the folds of cloth fascinate him. He loves the flow, the curves. Therefore Gehry tries to give that flow and the feeling of continuation in his design. He loves to experiment with the facade of the building.
His designing process starts with sketching. He draws spontaneous, bold sketches until he finds his sculpture form.
Gehry uses movement as a part of his language. All of his work is beautiful and famous. Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles is one of them.
The iconic exterior of the Walt Disney concert hall makes it the iconic building of Los Angeles. An international competition was organized for this project. More than 70 proposals came from all around the world. Among all Frank O Gehry was selected. The auditorium is of a capacity of 2265 people. Also, there is the parking is of 7 floors with the capacity 2200 cars.
This work of Frank O Gehry is like poetry. The material used for the facade gives a very dramatic effect. The extravagance of its forms seems to contradict any rules of harmony as well as symmetry. The boat with sails drenched inspires the form. Also, the hull of the boat is the theme for the centerpiece of the interior of the building. The idea behind it was to design a room with evocative sculpture forms of music while achieving the intimate connection between the orchestra and audience.
- There are 4 functional levels.
- The main entrance is via a large public space. Also, the main entrance connects with the existing facilities of the music center.
- Similarly, the second entrance is from the corner of the second street which leads you directly to the garden of the building.
- The hall is accessible from the street indeed. From where one can reach the various spaces.
- The field level is of the area of 3000sqm, which consists of the exhibition hall in addition to the restaurant and other services.
- On the north side of the building are the founder’s room, lounge, and cafeteria.
- To the backside of the auditorium is the dressing room as well as the support area.
- To the south, there is an administrative block.
- The parking is off the capacity of 2200 cars and is on 7 floors. One can have direct access to the interior of the building via escalators.
- Above all the main space is the auditorium with a capacity of 2265 people. This space was design with extreme care for the acoustic quality. The design looks like a hull of the ship. Similarly, the ceiling evokes the sail of the boat. The wooden interior and metal exterior give a very dramatic look.
- The auditorium gets the natural light through the lucarne and wide window.
- The place for orchestra is in the center, while the seats are surrounding the orchestra. The curved ceiling and specially designed wall give the best acoustic quality. Above all the wooden interior provides warmth in the ambiance.
- There are 2 amphitheaters one with a capacity of 300 and other with a capacity of 120 people.
- Also in the basement, there is a hall for social gatherings of a capacity of 266 people.
- The structure of the 10,000 tons of steel began by using chemically powdered steel, fossil fuel as well as electrically controlled machinery.
- The steel frame structure was done after the completion of the foundation. Then the paneling was done.
- They used total of 12,000 pieces of steel of different shapes and sizes.
Material used – Exterior and Interior
- Gehry wanted to use stone cladding instead of steel. But they asked Gehry to change stone cladding with steel because the planners were so impressed with Gehry’s Guggenheim museum in Bilbao,
- Also the interior wood is prominently used.
- Stone as well as glass is used at the entrance.