EXPLORING WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

LA Phil

From its striking exterior to its intimate interior, Walt Disney Concert Hall is an architectural marvel that never loses sight of its main function – bringing music to the city of Los Angeles and beyond. Get to know the building that architect Frank Gehry designed "from the inside out."

ORCHESTRA EAST VIEW INSIDE WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, From the collection of: LA Phil
Walt Disney Concert Hall Tour Videos
Take a high-definition virtual tour of the area in and around Walt Disney Concert Hall. Explore the lobby, auditorium, backstage, and garden, then read on to learn more about the unique features that make up the world’s most iconic concert hall.
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL EXTERIOR, Vern Evans, From the collection of: LA Phil
An Iconic Exterior
The first view of Walt Disney Concert Hall most people see is the curving stainless-steel skin of the building’s exterior. Resembling silver sails, the curves echo the billows in the auditorium and play off the bowed cornice of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, forging a link between new and old. In architect Frank Gehry’s original design, Walt Disney Concert Hall was intended to be clad in stone. After receiving much acclaim for his titanium building in Bilbao, however, he was urged to change the stone to metal. With this new material, Gehry was able to tweak the shape of the exterior, creating the iconic silver sails we see today.
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL AND DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES IN THE DISTANCE, Adam Latham, From the collection of: LA Phil
Walt Disney Concert Hall at Night, Adam Latham, 2014, From the collection of: LA Phil
THE “W” AT THE ENTRANCE OF WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, Mathew Imaging, From the collection of: LA Phil
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL NIGHTTIME EXTERIOR, Adam Latham, From the collection of: LA Phil
WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL LOBBY, Federico Zignani, From the collection of: LA Phil
An Exquisite Interior
Gehry’s team visualized the lobby as a transparent, light-filled “living room for the city,” opening onto the sidewalk. In contrast to the tightly enclosed foyer of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the lobby would have a separate identity and serve as a symbolic bridge between everyday life and the inner sanctum. Walt Disney Concert Hall was intended to be a center of civic activity, not just a destination for concertgoers.
BP Hall, Alex Pitt, From the collection of: LA Phil
BP HALL INTERIOR ANGLES AND SKYLIGHTS, From the collection of: LA Phil
ASCENDING FROM THE GRAND AVENUE LOBBY AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, Federico Zignani, From the collection of: LA Phil
View of the Orchestra, Adam Latham, 2014, From the collection of: LA Phil
The Auditorium
Inside the warm, Douglas fir-lined interior are 2,265 seats that are steeply raked and surround the stage. Ernest Fleischmann, former Executive Director of the LA Phil, felt that balconies and boxes reinforced a social hierarchy and proscenium arches separated players from listeners, and he urged that they be eliminated. In Walt Disney Concert Hall, the orchestra plays in the space in which the audience sits. The vineyard-style seating brings the audience close to the orchestra, and offers an intimate view of the musicians and conductor from any seat.
WDCH Seats, Bmotion, 2003, From the collection of: LA Phil
ORCHESTRA VIEW BEHIND THE STAGE AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, From the collection of: LA Phil
Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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