Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, by Architect Frank Gehry

Appearing to look very similar to Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao (opened in 1997), The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles opened in 2003. The concert hall has been praised for its acoustics and has seating for 2,265 people.

Walt Disney Concert Hall Initiated in 1987

The project was initiated in 1987 by Lillian Disney with a donation of $50 million. Frank Gehry’s completed designs were delivered in 1991. So in fact the Walt Disney Concert Hall was initiated before The Guggenheim in Bilbao.

Building Started with the Car Park

Nearly a third of the cost of the building went on the underground car park which cost $110 million. The aim was to recoup the costs by charging for parking spaces.

Reflection Problems

Like the Walkie Talkie building in London there was a problem with reflective concave surfaces concentrating light. In London, cars parked near the Walkie Talkie building (properly named 20 Fenchurch) were being damaged by the concentrated light due to the shape of the building. In the Walt Disney Concert Hall certain parts of the building were covered in polished mirror-like stainless steel panels which caused heat in nearby homes and even the pavements to get to  60°C. It was thought that the blinding light could cause accidents too. Following complaints it was decided in 2005 to sand the mirror finished areas to dull them down.

Frank Gehry and Deconstructivism

The architect Frank Gehry is well-known for his stunningly unusual architecture. The style is described as Deconstructionist, which Wikipedia describes as…

A movement of postmodern architecture which appeared in the 1980s. It gives the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building, commonly characterised by an absence of obvious harmony, continuity, or symmetry.

Other Deconstructionist Buildings

I have also shot the stunning German Bank Nord/LB, in Hannover, which is also classed as a Deconstructionist building.

References: Walt Disney Concert Hall Website, Wikipedia.

These photographs and more are available on Alamy.

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