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14 Walt Disney Concert Hall – Exterior (E)
Image by Kansas Sebastian
Walt Disney Concert Hall, 1999-2003
Frank O Gehry
111 S Grand Avenue
The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, 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.
Lillian Disney made an initial gift in 1987 to build a world-class performance venue as a gift to the people of Los Angeles and a tribute to Walt Disney’s devotion to the arts. The Frank Gehry-designed building opened on October 23 2003. While the architecture (as with other Gehry works) evoked polarized opinions, the acoustics of the concert hall (designed by Yasuhisa Toyota) were widely praised in contrast to its predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Much of Gehry’s work falls within the style of Deconstructivism. Decontructivism, also known as DeCon Architecture, is often referred to as post-structuralist in nature for its ability to go beyond current modalities of structural definition. In architecture, its application tends to depart from modernism in its inherent criticism of culturally inherited givens such as societal goals and functional necessity. Because of this, unlike early modernist structures, DeCon structures are not required to reflect specific social or universal ideas, such as speed or universality of form, and they do not reflect a belief that form follows function. Gehry’s own Santa Monica residence is a commonly cited example of deconstructivist architecture, as it was so drastically divorced from its original context, and, in such a manner, as to subvert its original spatial intention.