Saturday, September 21, 2019

Walt Disney Concert Hall Essay Example for Free

Walt Disney Concert Hall Essay â€Å"Why cant we have those curves and arches that express feeling in design? What is wrong with them? Why has everything got to be vertical, straight, unbending, only at right angles and functional? † ? Charles, Prince of Wales. (Quotes) Three years ago I was studying high school in Los Angeles, and during vacation I travelled around and explored the city. I still remember out of all the locations that I have toured, Walt Disney Concert Hall probably is the one that stands out most in my memory. Although I didn’t visit the interior of the Concert Hall, the exterior appearance left a profound impact on me influencing my view regarding the society and art. I feel astounded by how Gehry’s work can beautifully allow art and architecture to collide into a piece of functional aesthetic structure. Among all the nearby and typical buildings in the city of Los Angeles, Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank O. Gehry, becomes a prominent infrastructure and representative of the area. It reveals an eye-catching comparison as it unconventional, curvaceous, irregular and stirring style contrasts with the surrounding proportional, balance, symmetrical and straight buildings. Through the critical examining of its construction styles, design, social manifestation, and public response which I am going to evaluate in this essay, I want to expose an understanding of how architecture reflects on its symbolic function and societal progression. â€Å"I know I draw without taking my pen off the page. I just keep going, and that my drawings I think of them as scribbles. I dont think they mean anything to anybody except to me, and then at the end of the day, the end of the project they wheel out these little drawings and theyre damn close to what the finished building is and, and its the drawing, the hand eye coordination which starts to generate this, the beginnings of this kind of ephemeral image, and its the way from those drawings I organ , its strange what I do, I organise the space of a building. † Frank O. Gehry (BBC radio) The architect Frank O. Gehry made the above statement during a radio interview. He begins the design with sketches and after many refinements, finally produces a massive building formed by titanium, steel, glass, wood, brick and concrete (Guilfoyle). The use of stainless glass has always been an attractive element of Walt Disney Concert Hall and is also Gehry’ signature. Not only because of its lustrous appearance that attracts the public, but also delivers a positive message to the world. As titanium is a material mainly used in aeronautics, it implies the embracement of the future (Barnet 92). Additionally, other materials such as glass suggest a sense of understanding of the world and connecting two materials in harmony through its transparent quality. Brick implies warmth, simplicity, unpretentiousness and hand-craftsmanship. And wood associates with nature and the outdoor environment, giving a sense of pristine, rudimental, and original properties (Barnet 93). It shows that even materials can contribute to the meaning of the building. Furthermore, besides the materials that convey meaning, the site that is chosen to build an infrastructure also creates specific connection and meaning to the public. As the Disney Hall is built beside the street, it allows convenient and easy access which benefit the crowds. This location promotes a welcoming sign to everyone, showing art is available to different culture, race and class. If the construction site had been chosen in Beverly Hills, an extravagant tourist attraction in Los Angeles, it definitely will not advertise the same accessible atmosphere. Likewise, rather than locating the Hall in a quiet, isolated and distant area, the government decides to situate it inside the city, which reflects its important connection with the citizens or as an international display. It emerges as a symbol to reflect the diverse culture, unique characteristic and hot climate of downtown Los Angeles (Dal Co 442). The hospitable nature of Walt Disney Concert Hall also initiated from Gehry’s desire to create a â€Å"synergy† via intimacy and inclusion within and outside (Leigh). He hopes the musicians and performers will be able to feel comfortable and easy on stage and â€Å"the orchestra and the audience would have an intimate connection with each other† (Leigh). Under this goal, Gehry makes use of modeled Douglas fir and cedar to surround the auditorium and concave wood panels to generate the audience seat. As a lot of timber materials are placed inside, it results in a perception of vibrating sound, enlivening the musical performance. Thus, any small sound from the audience will be amplified and intermingled with the actual orchestra. Moreover, the stage is designed a bit higher than the orchestra seats in order to provide a better view for the audience. It seeks to provide a cozy and intimate acoustic experience (Leigh). The usual concert halls normally provide private boxes appealing to the promising and affordable audience, but Gehry eliminates this design as he believes every seat in the Hall provides a different sensational experience (Leigh). Once again, I think this message aims to promote equity in art and that none is able to purchase or own it. The design of Walt Disney Concert Hall is based on Deconstructivism, contradictory to Constructivism; both are attempts to invent a new style of post-modern architecture in the 1980s resulting from the imperfection of Modernist conventions (Melvin 136). Deconstructivism, identified by the concept of fragmentation, deviation, unpredictability and under-controlled chaos, functions to create distorted, irregular and broken shapes to alter the traditional elements of architecture. It is influenced by the modern art cubism and minimalism, it deformation style implies a detachment of cultural differences (Citizendium). Just as Gehry said, he likes to â€Å"control chaos and relate that to the urban world† (Leigh), which is one of the characteristic of deconstructivism. Overall, I find the design of Walt Disney Concert Hall as a great representation of contemporary architecture. Evaluating its materials and design, it successfully generates a positive image as a landmark of Los Angeles city. However, I think the shortcoming is that the stainless steel forming the exterior of the Hall brings out a negative impact to the surrounding climate. As the residents of surrounding buildings complained about the increase in temperature and visual glare affecting their daily life, which cause high temperature on the path and even soften plastic objects around (Valmont). Although it doesn’t cause problem to visitors of the Hall, but produce a long-term affect to people living around. Last but not least, some critics also claim that Walt Disney Concert Hall displays a sense of detachment, with inconsistency, showing an absence of social attention. They argue that the simplicity of Hall has abandoned the values of past and present art works without a clear intention (Citizendium).

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