August 12, 2008

Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall — the front view.

Yes, the front view. This is only the first set of my photographs of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

So look out, Frank Gehry haters. And look out, fisheye lens haters. Or maybe if you hate Frank Gehry and the fisheye lens, the 2 negatives will make a positive — because, to me, this building was made to be photographed with the fisheye lens. I bet you can't even tell which crazy distortions are in the building and which come from the lens.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall

24 comments:

bleeper said...

Not crazy about the fisheye, but the building is awesome.

Chris Wren said...

It really is a stunning building. I had a chance to see it a few years back, but didn't have time to check inside. Is the interior as crazy and innovative as the exterior?

corporate law drudge said...

Great sculpture. Good thing it never rains in LA though.

Paddy O. said...

Have you seen Sketches of Frank Gehry?

Very interesting movie about Gehry's work and approach, made by his friend Sydney Pollack.

I liked this quote: "People go to a therapist to solve anxieties, handle their marriage, fix themselves. An artist goes to learn how to change the world."

Middle Class Guy said...

I do not hate Frank Gehry. I do hate what he did to Chicago via Millenium Park. He quoted one price and a budget of tax dollars and private donations was set aside based on his quote. Half way through, he claims he needed millions more to complete the project. Everyone; the mayor, the donors, and the citizens went nuts. But he did get paid.

campy said...

It's better looking than the Stata Center, at least.

bleeper said...

Chicago got hosed? Who cares? Was Rezko involved?

Christy said...

But how well does it function as a concert hall?

Palladian said...

Ugh.

Yes, it's a "stunning" building, as in "I am stunned that Gehry continues to get millions of dollars to erect his random piles of twisted crap".

Will said...

I dig the fisheye, but Gehry's architecture stinks. It's a crumpled up wad of ugly.

Howard said...

I love Frank Gehry and hate his buildings. Howard Roark is turning over in his grave. However, we deserve his hideous and pretentious buildings that lack practicality and function. Modern art is all about the sizzle (see D. Hurst and J. Koons on the high end and T. Kinkade on the low end) Sound-bite kitsch... like fish-eye photography. But no matter Ann, some of your straight photography is quite good, which makes up for a lot, including being a breeder of shysters.

PatCA said...

The inside was a surprise to me--not so grand. The architecture is splendid but the seats were kind of disappointing.

http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/disneyhall/radiodocs.html

ricpic said...

Looks like Gehry is just doing a repeat of that museum in Bilbao,* Spain. Except he's wrapping the building in steel blue instead of gold.


*Not sure if it's Bilbao. It's the capitol of the Basque country.

ricpic said...

Looks like Gehry is just doing a repeat of that museum in Bilbao,* Spain. Except he's wrapping the building in steel blue instead of gold.


*Not sure if it's Bilbao. It's the capitol of the Basque country.

Seven Machos said...

I'm so sick of this one-trick pony. Grow, dammit.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought the inside was dictated by the outside. I have some pics that show some stunningly disorderly views looking up into the inside of those swirls.

Steven said...

I'm sure it will look nice when it's finished.

blake said...

Second what Paddy O sez, though I saw the movie as Gehry.

Jeff said...

I'm positive that I hate both Frank Gehry buildings and the fisheye lens. For some reason, pictures taken with that lens make me physically ill. I can't look at them for more than a few seconds. Come to think of it, that's how I feel about Gehry buildings as well.

Quayle said...

I once had an office in Paris in the Grande Arche de la Fraternité, more commonly known as the Arche de la Défense. (Its that white cubic, slightly offset building that you see in the distance, when looking in the opposite direction as the Champs Elyseés, from the Arch de Triumph.)

The building was cool to look at under lights, but up close it was built with material that got dirty and looked hard to clean. Further, I finally concluded that the building was also environmentally challenged. The air flow never seemed right, and a bunch of us would get headaches in the afternoon if we hadn’t gone outside for lunch.

I started to see that issue a lot in Paris, at the modern structures like the train terminal at Charles DeGualle terminal II, Tour Montparnasse, or the buildings next to Stade Charléty

The architecture and design is often fabulous. The choice of materials is also often extremely poor and consequently the buildings can’t be maintained to look good. Once they get a few years on them, they start to look bad.

veni vidi vici said...

AS a concert hall, it is frankly one of the best-designed acoustic spaces in existence. The actual hall is inside; most of the wacky exterior stuff dictates the shape of the interior concourses surrounding the hall itself.

Inside the hall, though, I noticed immediately that there are no parallel or flat surfaces, save for the stage. Thus, the entire room is free of standing waves. It is a magnificent place to hear orchestral music. I attended the "Organ Inaugural" several years ago, when they first fired up the "french fry bag" pipe organ (look for pix online; it looks like a bag of mcdonald's fries). The one engineering error appears to have been that the organ is too loud for the room: they actually had to mic up the orchestra and run it through PA to be heard at par with the organ. The show's pieces without organ were wonderful-sounding, though; all was very balanced, and shitty reverb was minimized. This is a great venue.

Also nice is the fact that, in contrast to the metal-skinned exterior, the concert hall interior is all warm, honey-colored wood surfaces. Very well executed.

veni vidi vici said...

The front entrance to Disney hall is remarkable for the way that the "inner folds" surrounding the stairs from the sidewalk and the entry are darker/titanium-colored metal, as opposed to the brighter metal exterior skin on the rest of the building.

That feature, with the folding, undulating "slatheriness" of it all gives the front entrance an "abstract vaginal" aura all its own. Considering that the concert hall has a "warm, womblike" vibe featuring soft light wood walls, etc., I wonder if that wasn't part of the idea.

Maxine Weiss said...

The acustics are complete state of the art.

The neighborhood is pure trash.

Selenia said...

This concert hall looks amazing! If Walter Disney were alive, he would absolutley love it! To make even more better, you should post the materials they used to make it!