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    Walt Disney Concert Hall: how to visit Frank Gehry's architectural work in Los Angeles

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    Martí Micolau

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    A building whose shapes defy the rules of symmetry and which certainly cannot remain unnoticed in a city where geometric shapes are undisputed sovereign. The Walt Disney Concert Hall it is able to surprise the observer leaving him without fixed points, without spatial references.

    A game of contrasts that together create a unique harmony. If you are in Los Angeles don't miss a visit to this splendid one Californian architectural icon. If you have the time and you have the opportunity, I advise you to check which concerts are scheduled and buy a ticket: theacoustics inside the main hall is one of the best in the world.


    • What is Walt Disney Concert Hall
    • Where is it and how to get there
    • Tickets and Opening Hours
    • Why visit and what to see
    • Where to sleep in the area

    What is Walt Disney Concert Hall

    The Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of four buildings in the Los Angeles Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Opened in 2003, this building is the newest of the four and is the headquarters of the Los Angeles Philarmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Master Chorale.

    The building is a masterpiece of modern architecture designed by the architect Frank Gehry, internationally famous for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. In fact, the Californian work was conceived by the author long before the Spanish museum. In 1987, in fact, Lillian Disney, Walt's widow, allocated $ 50 million to build a concert hall where fellow citizens could appreciate the skill of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and as a tribute to her late husband's love for art and music Walt Disney.

    Over 70 architects participated in the call for proposals, but Frank Gehry's project emerged from the others not only because its eclectic space created a link between the philharmonic and the large public, but also because it fit perfectly into the urban context. of the city that welcomed him. The works began in 1991 and ended, with some long periods of pause, in 2003. The total cost of the work is estimated around 274 million dollars, 110 of which for parking.

    Where is it and how to get there

    The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue a Downtown Los Angeles on Bunker Hill. The building takes up an entire block between First Street, Grand Avenue, Second Street and Hope Street. You will have no difficulty recognizing it, but it is important to remember that it is part of a complex of four different buildings whose name is Music Center. The entire area, in fact, is full of private parking lots and is served by public transport.

    If you are in auto, the Music Center has two official parking lots. The most convenient to reach the Walt Disney Concert Hall is certainly the one located on Second Street, called precisely Walt Disney Concert Hall Garage. The other car park of the complex is located on Grand Avenue, between First Street and Temple Street. For both parking spaces, the cost is $ 9 dollars during events or $ 3.50 every 15 minutes for a maximum of $ 20 on non-event days.

    It was used Uber, Lyft or a taxi, the best place to be dropped off is 111 South Grand Avenue right outside the main entrance.

    With the metro you can take the red or purple line and get off at the Civic Center / Grand Park Station. From the station it is approximately a 4 minute walk along First Street to reach the Concert Hall.

    For more details on how to organize travel in the city, I refer you to our guide on how to get around Los Angeles.

    Tickets and Opening Hours

    The Walt Disney Concert Hall is open:

    • Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 to 18:00.
    • Mondays from 16:00 in case of performances or concerts.
    • on Friday at 9:00 in the case of matinees.

    The ticket office on days when concerts are scheduled remains open up to 30 minutes before the start of the event.

    Depart from the Grand Lobby of the Walt Disney Concert Hall free tours in English of about an hour organized by teachers to explore the interior and exterior of the building and discover anecdotes and curiosities. Free tours are for small groups of up to 14 people, while for groups of 15 or more, book and pay $ 15 per person. Tours do not include a visit to the auditorium as it is generally occupied by artists.

    Walt Disney Concert Hall show calendar

    Why visit and what to see

    The building designed by Frank Gehry is a architectural masterpiece reminiscent of a ship with its concave and convex shapes made of stainless steel panels. To avoid reflection and overheating of the building itself and the consequent excessive use of air conditioning, in the years following its inauguration work was carried out on the sandblasting of the panels. Its aesthetic beauty remains unchanged and the splendor of the building is reflected in the photographs of any tourist.

    While the beauty of the exterior building is what stands out first, we must not forget the purpose for which it was created: to be a concert hall. And it is also the main concert hall that is a marvel that leaves you breathless: the grandeur of the room with 2265 seats and the Douglas fir woods that cover it will make you feel welcomed and pampered. There extraordinary acoustics of the concert hall is the result of the collaboration between Gehry, Minory Nagata e Yasuhisa Toyota and it is among the most renowned in the world. In addition to the auditorium, the building houses various rehearsal rooms, a small theater for 250 people, a beautiful panoramic garden on the third floor and an outdoor amphitheater.

    Where to sleep in the area

    The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located in the neighborhood called Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. Finding a hotel or accommodation for the night near the Music Center is not difficult, but I still recommend that you read our article on where to sleep in Los Angeles to choose the best neighborhood.

    Our tips on where to sleep in Los Angeles

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