Saturday, October 11, 2003

LA Scene: Disney Hall

More from the wild minds of architects

(fourth in a series of occasional posts on what's happening in Los Angeles)


A while back we started a discussion on architecture (see archives) on Frank Lloyd Wright (posts of Sept. 5, 7) and Santiago Calatrava (post of Sept. 23).

Right here in Los Angeles, we have Frank Gehry. Of course our "blogparents" had a funny take on the soon to officially open Walt Disney Hall. To see the official web pages check out the short text introduction or the full blown long version.

Below are some photos from my recent visit there for the subscriber open house.

There it is: over $200 million and over a decade in the making.

October 4, 2003 was subscriber open house!

The main entrance.

The entry way on Grand Ave.

From one of the nooks.

Gardens on the, of course, garden level.

The view from my sub scription seats!

Looking up from the Garden level lobby.

It would seem that Gehry's style evokes strong reactions positive and negative. I take it think Gehry is afforded a bit too much worshipfulness from architectural fans and so they go with satire to describe this project.

I'm a pragmatist, I just hope the sound is good! And that the venue helps revitalize LA downtown. Sure would be a shame if the building costs over $200 million to build but eventually falls apart due to disinterest.

What about the aesthet ic va lues here? What do you think? If you were a multibillionaire would you have ponied up a few tens of millions to help get this project off the ground?

Postrel recently discussed the softw are Gehry's firm developed that helps make these kinds of projects possible.

Thus, one may ask what is in the mind of Gehry? Is his attitude like the famed stated motive for climbing Mt. Everest: because it is there? Without doubt doing buildings this way tests the engineering designs and materials fabrication. Is it that Gehry simply wants to push the envelope? Or is there some "meaning" to the curves and waves and sharp points?

In the official web site there are original sketches here and here. They look like nothing more than jumbled lines. Maybe Gehry was trying to "visualize" the music?


UPDATE: "I told her I'd make a flower garden for her," said Gehry. See LA Times for the full story. Gehry has also likened the shapes to sails on a ship. In the end, perhaps it is too simplistic to say the building "looks" like something in particular. I guess, I should just enjoy it!

UPDATE: I heard another person say that the curvy shape was to mimic sheets of music. I guess it is just about anything you want it to be, eh?

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