Walt Disney Concert Hall

From its striking exterior to its intimate interior, Walt Disney Concert Hall is an architectural marvel.  Designed by Frank Gehry, it is one of the world’s most admired concert halls.

 

 
(2009)* - View of the Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue. Designed by architect Frank Gehry.  

 

Historical Notes

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, and 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves (among other purposes) as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.^

 

 

 

 
(2020)^.^ - Close-up view of the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. Photo by Carlos G. Lucero‎  

 

Historical Notes

Lillian Disney made an initial gift in 1987 to build a performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney's devotion to the arts and to the city. The Frank Gehry-designed building opened on October 24, 2003. Both the architecture by Frank Gehry and the acoustics of the concert hall (designed by Yasuhisa Toyota) were praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.^

 

 

 

 
(2013)^ - A view of the Walt Disney Concert Hall auditorium, as seen from the Balcony seating section.  

 

Historical Notes

The Disney Concert Hall with its Douglas fir-lined interior has 2,265 colorful seats that are steeply raked and surround the stage. The vineyard style seating brings the audience close to the orchestra, and offers an intimate view of the musicians and conductor from any seat.

Gehry worked with Yasuhisa Toyota, the acoustical consultant, to hone the hall’s sound through spatial and material means.

 

 

 

 
(2007)*^ - A closer view of the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage and organ before a concert.  

 

Historical Notes

The organ's façade was designed by architect Frank Gehry in consultation with organ consultant and tonal designer Manuel Rosales and was was built by the German organ builder Caspar Glatter-Götz. The organ is a gift to the County of Los Angeles from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.^

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)^* - Wide-angle view from near the corner of Grand Avenue and 2nd Street showing the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Bunker Towers is in the background on the left and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is seen to the right.  Photo by John O’ Neill  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, Walt Disney Concert Hall is an internationally recognized architectural landmark and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world.

 

 

 

 

 
(2011)^ - Disney Concert Hall, downtown Los Angeles. The inside was built for musicians...but, the outside was built for photographers!  

 

Historical Notes

The reflective, stainless steel surface engages light as an architectural medium. The facade's individual panels and curves are articulated in daylight and colored by city lights after dark. The building was initially set to be clad in stone, but a more malleable material was chosen following the completion of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the concert hall's titanium-clad cousin. Thin metal panels allowed for more adventurous curvature and could be structurally disassociated from the ground. The metallic forms appear to hover above an asymmetrical band of glazing at the building’s base. Glass fissures in the facade bring light into the lobby and pre-concert room, reading as a grand entryway through the otherwise opaque facade.*

 

 

 

 

 
(2020)^.^ - The curving stainless steel skin of the building’s exterior resemble silver sails.  Photo by Howard Gray  

 

Historical Notes

In a downtown of 90 degree angles, Frank Gehry took the road less travelled in this monumental expressionist piece of architecture.

 

 

 

 

 
(2020)^.^ - Walt Disney Concert Hall's exterior is a composition of undulating and angled forms, symbolizing musical movement and the motion of Los Angeles.  Photo by Howard Gray  

 

Historical Notes

Herbert Muschamp from the New York times called it a French curve in a city of T squares, “It’s a home for everyone who’s ever felt like a French curve in a T square world.” I call it an exonerating piece, releasing architects and designers from the clear cut lines of expectations to broader possibilities and imagination. It has released a spirit of expression that gives freedom to any thought that can be built.*

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)##^ - Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final flight to LAX on September 21, 2012 as it passes over Disney Hall with the Hollywood Sign in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)^** - A view of the Walt Disney Concert Hall from the Department of Water and Power fountain with the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at far left.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(2020)^.^ - View looking northwest showing top of entrance to Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion seen across Temple Street.  Photo by Tom Awai  

 

Historical Notes

Whether it's the majesty of the architecture, the purity of the sound or the beauty of its public garden, Walt Disney Concert Hall has become one of the symbols of Los Angeles.

 

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Historical Early Views

 

 

Newest Additions

 

 

Early LA Buildings and City Views

 

 

History of Water and Electricity in Los Angeles

 

 

 

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