A trip to Los Angeles is not complete unless you visit the city’s premium cultural hub: the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Whether it is the majesty of the architecture, the amazing beauty of the public garden surrounding this iconic building or the purity of the sound, Gehry’s Concert Hall stands out as a truly unique architectural vision. Located in downtown Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is the new home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale. The Concert Hall was designed by the Frank Gehry, the architect who won the Pritzker Prize.
The concept of this project was launched in 1987 with the donation of $50 million by Lillian Disney, widow of Walt Disney. The construction of the building started in 1991, as soon as Frank Gehry conceptualized the design. However, the construction came to a halt in mid 1990’s due to lack of fundraising. Additional funds were required as the construction cost exceeded the original budget. At one point, to cut down the losses, the county of Los Angeles planned to stop the project.
After the passing of real estate depression in 1996, the fundraising started and the project was completed in 2003. The total cost of this iconic project was around $230 million. Today, the extravagant and striking appearance and the sleek curves and the intricate design patterns have made it unmatchable by any other concert hall in the United States.
Some of the architectural highlights of the acclaimed venue include large tree columns, stainless steel curves wrapped around the building, a wonderfully orchestrated fountain and beautiful public gardens and plazas. The exterior curves of the building were made using special software called CATIA (Computer-aided three dimensional application), in which the steel beams are structured together using advanced technology. In contrast to the cool steel exterior of the building, the auditorium expresses warmth and intimacy with its soft inviting interiors. The walls and ceilings are finished with Douglas-fir wood, and the floor is made out of authentic oak. The exceptional acoustics makes Walt Disney Hall one of the top music venues in the world. The stage is uniquely designed in a “vineyard style,” which gives a great communal experience.
One of the most unique features of the Disney concert hall is the magnanimous concert organ. The distinguished organ displays a perfect balanced between musical practicality and cutting edge design. It is equipped with curved wooden pipes, closed-circuit television monitor, an attached console and a detached, movable console.
The public garden features a tribute to the hall’s initial donor in the form of “Rose for Lily,” a beautifully orchestrated fountain in the center of the garden.
The Disney Concert Hall has exhibited numerous orchestra performances, concerts and high profile speaking engagements. It possesses a caliber and an architectural merit that attracts tourists from all across the world.