A New Gehry On The Skyline

LA’s new Frank Gehry-designed Disney Hall is turning heads (and it hasn’t even opened yet). “The city centre more in need than even Bilbao of something worth looking at has got a shimmering pile of twisting metal. Yet this isn’t ‘me too’ urbanism, more ‘hey buddy, we were here first’. The $274m (£150m) Walt Disney Concert Hall was designed before Bilbao (in the late 1980s) but was held back by funding and other problems, which makes it the prototype architectural regenerator, a pivotal, if tardy, building. The hall is an exuberant pile of twisting steel encasing public spaces of generosity and wit, finished internally in Douglas fir, light streaming in where the external structure peels away from the façade – this is a building with no windows but plenty of light. It could exert a major impact on the city’s feeble downtown, its contorted, lumpy profile looming impressively over the skyline.”