See how the Walt Disney Concert Hall was designed to perfection | Tour
My name is Valerie Augustin and I am an architect.
Today, we will take a walking tour
Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
So, the Disney Concert Hall was designed in 1987,
It was originally funded
With a generous donation from Lillian Disney.
Designed by the Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based architect,
Because this building is incredibly unique.
One of the things you’ll see
When you look at this building
is that it is covered with steel plates,
When they originally designed this building
The original intent was just that
It would have been clad in stone.
But during the design process,
One of the first things they discovered
is that the stone slabs would be incredibly heavy,
It will make a cost
The size of the steel structure is much more expensive
What they needed.
So, they turned to steel panels,
Which also happened to coincide with the truth of it
Between the time this building was designed
When the construction of this building began,
Frank Gehry completed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
One of his most famous projects at that time
Which was also clad with metal panels.
Each of the panels in the building is unique.
Now these specific types of models
They cannot be designed by traditional architectural means.
They basically had to invent new technologies
To build a building like this.
So, one of the things they pioneered
In the design of this building
is to use a program called CATIA,
Which was originally used to design airplanes and boats.
Many people consider it a Deconstructivist style building
It is a type of construction
which are really characterized by non-linear shapes,
Lots of curved geometry, use of glass,
And other similar materials.
A concert hall was built
Because it was originally the Los Angeles Philharmonic
played across the street at the music center,
But it’s time for the orchestra
To have a purpose-built hall
Which has been specially designed
To play symphonic music.
Now, one of the interesting things
About the project It is the first to be built
It was a parking garage.
This allowed the building to generate money
Even before the concert hall was open
To help finance the cost of construction.
Now, we are in the main entry lobby.
Frank Gehry loves to talk about it
When Lillian first met Disney,
She told him she really wanted a place
To feel like home.
And so Frank interpreted that to mean
It is that she really wanted to build
I felt warm and welcome
Because this building is really meant to be a gift
For the people of Los Angeles.
This really reflects
Through the use of many materials we see
In the interior of the building.
The floor uses limestone,
And another important component of this building
It is the use of Douglas fir that covers some of the columns,
Then also some facilities
that you see in the building.
Therefore, income returns are hidden within those
As well as providing warmth to the building,
They also perform an important functional use.
Now, the interesting thing about Douglas fir
It is also the same wood
Which is used for symphonic instruments.
So, there’s a really nice symmetry
Which Frank Gehry was aware of
When he made these design choices.
There are a few other things you can see in this lobby
Which is really amazing,
is that instead of hiding the structure,
The architect really celebrates the structure
Inside the building.
A lot of steel is visible
And you can see it’s painted grey,
This coating is actually fire retardant
So there was a fire,
This material actually swells
To protect steel and keep people safe.
Another really cool part of this building
Is that the entire front can be scissor-open
Which allows during the summer months for people
To enter and exit the building
Right on Grand Avenue.
Another great thing to see
In this space is Frank Gehry’s dedication
To truly create a building
This is open and provides visibility
Throughout the city as well as the total area.
So, starting from the top level,
You have access to the hall
Which also offers views of the city,
He also takes us to the café dining area
As well as access to the parking garage
Which we talked about before.
So, here we are in the founders room
It is a private space in the Disney Concert Hall
For donors who gave
More than $185,000 to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Now, this room is the only room
In a building that is not open to the general public.
One of the things you will notice
is that in this room, like the entire concert hall,
Is that the space is connected to the outdoors.
So one of the things that architects do
They were really adamant about making sure
that although this is an internal experience,
Each room has access and view to the outside.
Another thing you’ll notice here
Is this a beautiful rug?
Now, this rug had a special custom design
Which was specially made for the concert hall
It already embodies some important aspects
Which Frank Gehry talked about with Lillian Disney.
That was, again, creating a building
It was really warm and welcoming to all Angelenos.
You can find this carpet throughout the entire concert hall,
Therefore the floors are either made of limestone
Or this beautiful carpet you see behind us.
The ceiling in this space is particularly unique.
Now this space is treated differently than drywall
It is a traditional packaging material
For the interior of the building.
But here they did a special finishing with plaster
It is the only way to achieve these sensual curves
that we see in this space.
And if you look closely,
You can actually see the plaster finish
Because there is little such as shimmer
Which you will get when using plaster
Which you don’t get when painting the surface.
Now, we’re in one of my favorite places
Disney Concert Hall, this is the Blue Ribbon Park.
Blue Ribbon Park
It was an important part of this building
Because it really speaks to the idea
This building is truly a gift
To Los Angeles.
It is open to all Angelenos any day of the year.
You can come here and have lunch,
We take a look at the city behind us.
Something else you can see behind us
It is one of the most impressive parts of this park
And this is the Blue Ribbon Fountain,
It is called a rose for a lily.
Now, this is a special story that happened
While Frank Gehry interacts with Lillian Disney.
On a visit to her home,
He saw that she had many pieces of fake Delft porcelain.
Apparently, it was something
Which she and her husband Walt will enjoy,
He was buying fake pieces of porcelain
To see if their friends can spot fakes.
Now this has turned into a great story
Between Lillian and Frank,
And so they decided it would be great
The most appropriate way to create this fountain.
That’s how Frank Gehry worked
With artists Thomas Osinski and his wife Ewa,
With eight other artists
Let’s see the fountain we see behind us.
More than 200 Royal Blue Delft vases were broken
In making this fountain.
You can also find 60 Easter eggs,
Which includes pieces of ceramics
From the artist’s personal home
And so is Frank Gehry’s photography.
Another thing you can see here
At Blue Ribbon Garden a close-up view
Of the steel panels covering this building.
One of the interesting things about the design
is that you will see that the panels are overlapping
In the same way as bird feathers or fish scales.
This allows any water to drain away from the building
Without any worry about water leakage
In this interior part of the space.
Now one of the challenges that occurred
When was this building first designed?
There were two types of finishes on these panels.
The shiny finish you see next to me
And also highly reflective chrome plated panels.
The chrome end panels were actually quite reflective
on neighboring dwellings,
Which means those boards have to be sanded
So they will not cause harm anymore
To nearby buildings.
It can be accessed from Blue Ribbon Park
It is a public walk that takes you up and around
disney Concert Hall facade,
Which provides a view of all of downtown Los Angeles.
So, behind me, you can see the BP hall
It is a private space for performances and lectures
In the corner of the Disney Concert Hall.
Now, one of the great things
Around this space you can really see it
Use the Douglas fir that is used
Throughout the building,
Oriented and attached in the same way
Where the exterior cladding of the building is.
So, you can see here the attention to detail
Paid by architects
Through every level of design
To ensure that the entire building is cohesive.
You can also see it in other parts of the buildings
Including the founder’s wall
Where the donor panels are overlapping and overlapping
The same way we see it on the outside of the building.
Another thing you’ll notice if you look closely
is that some of the boards are made of solid Douglas fir
While others actually have small holes.
This is what allows this space to work acoustically
When a lecture or performance occurs.
Amazing things about the skylights in this building
They serve a dual function.
During the day,
They bring abundant natural light into the space,
But at night, the building lights are off
Making the entire building a beacon for the entire city.
So, we’re right outside the hall.
Now, the hall can accommodate 2,265 people.
The acoustics are specially designed
For philharmonic music.
Now, the acoustic design was not possible to achieve
Without experts and recruiting Frank Gehry
World famous sound designer Yasuhisa Toyota
From Japan to design the hall.
Now, the way the space is designed
From any seat in the hall
You will get perfect sound from the stage.
So there is no such thing as a bad seat in this hall.
hall from inside,
In addition to being acoustically perfect,
She is also incredibly beautiful.
The interior panels are curved to support sound
Reach every spot of the hall
It also uses the same Douglas fir we see
Outside in the lobby and other places.
Now, one of the most striking pieces
From the hall is the device.
The organ contains more than 6,000 pipes.
They are often referred to as French fries.
So, if you find yourself hungry
When you’re at Walt Disney Concert Hall, now you know why.
Ceiling in the hall
It is beautifully ripped and ribbed
Which helps acoustics and sound
Travel around space.
Now, the interior planning of the space
It is also unique to the Walt Disney Concert Hall
And the way the seats are designed
Both to allow for optimal viewing as well as optimal sound.
Upholstery that you will find on the interior seats
It is the same decoration that was created
For the custom rug we’re standing on now.