- Artist/Architect: Frank Gehry
- Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
- Stainless Steel exterior
- Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, and 1st and 2nd Streets, and seating 2,265 people
- Completed in 2003
Based out of Los Angeles, Frank Owen Gehry—born Frank Owen Goldberg on February 28, 1929—is a Canadian-American architect. He is the recipient of many awards, including: the AIA Gold Medal, National Medal of Arts, Order of Canada, Pritzker Prize, and the Praemium Imperiale. A number of his buildings have world renowned tourist attractions. In 2010, the World Architecture Survey cited a number of his buildings as being some of the most important works of contemporary architecture, and Vanity Fair labeled him “the most important architect of our age” (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Gehry).
Gehry’s work falls under the category of Deconstructivism. Referred to post-structuralist in nature, it challenges notions of traditional architecture in such a manner as to subvert its original spatial intention. Gehry’s style can, at times, seem unfinished or even crude, but this is just a part of the challenging nature of his works (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Gehry).
The Walt Disney Concert Hall began with a $50 million gift from Lillian Disney. The purpose of this gift was to provide a world class performance venue for the City of Los Angles, and to pay tribute to Walt Disney’s devotion to the arts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_Concert_Hall). With the sweeping and gleaming design of its exterior, the building was at onetime jeered for being out-of-place in the Los Angeles cityscape; but since its completion, the building has become an iconic part of the city, similar to the sweeping, sail-like curves of the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
In his design, Gehry presented a structure that challenged the image of an entire city. Instead of compromising to the aesthetic wishes of critics, Gehry went forward with his plan, and challenged his critics, and the City as a whole, to boldly move forward with him. After completion, the building came to be praised as a challenging and groundbreaking addition to Los Angeles culture.