Walt Disney Concert Hall is just one of Frank Gehry’s works known all over the world. However, this extraordinary building is so successful as a concert hall that it is impossible not to stand out among the architect’s other works. The Walt Disney Concert Hall, brought to life by Frank Gehry with a fascinating design approach, proves how the most unimaginable shapes can get good results.
The Winner of the Competition, Gehry
Lilian Walt Disney’s large donation funded Walt Disney Concert Hall on behalf of his wife, Walt Disney. Lilian Disney, who wants to keep the memory of Walt Disney alive, has allocated a large amount of money (about 50 million dollars) to create a cultural centre in Los Angeles.
When the Walt Disney Concert Hall project started like this, it is time for this culture-oriented structure. A competition was organised to select the best candidate, and Frank Gehry participated in the Walt Disney Concert Hall design competition. The project took first place by eliminating about 70 candidates. Then, the Walt Disney Concert Hall’s construction started, and in 2003 the hall was opened to the public.
Acoustics Before Aesthetics
Walt Disney Concert Hall is considered one of the best in the world with its acoustic features. Architect Frank Gehry has always put acoustics first when designing the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Although the wavy form on the building’s outer shell reflects the architect’s aesthetic understanding, the continuation of the same fluctuations on the ceiling is a decision made due to acoustic concerns.
Gehry designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in collaboration with his acoustic consultant Yasuhisa Toyota. The famous architect gave such importance to the building’s acoustics that he made 1/10 models during the design phase and examined each seat’s aural experience.
Gehry Signature Form
Anyone who has seen the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the first time will immediately know who designed the hall if they have encountered Frank Gehry’s structures before.
Gehry used a form in the Walt Disney Concert Hall that made it impossible to perceive the outside plan. The curved shell of the structure is covered with tens of thousands of metal sheets. Inside, it was necessary to design a carrier system specific to Walt Disney Concert Hall to keep this unusual shell alive. You can see the steel carriers, which have 17 degrees inclination in the building from some places.
Gehry designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall as interconnected masses. He also associated these masses with bridges. The facades of these bridges, which serve as crossing points, are covered with glass. So they get light inside. They also contrast with flat metal sheets.
The most impressive part of Walt Disney Concert Hall is undoubtedly the ‘concert hall’ part. In this part, the architect took the stage and placed seats on all four sides of the stage, thus eliminating the hierarchical seating arrangement. Also, the Walt Disney Concert Hall features an organ that stretches almost to the ceiling.
Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of the most valuable works of today’s architecture, with both its outer shell and the booming acoustics it captures inside.