Disney Hall – Pressure To Perform

Talk about pressure. Frank Gehry’s new Disney Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is expected to sound great and provide a transformative piece of architecture for a city not known for great buildings. “It is ironic that Gehry is being criticized for not producing a building that will transform a dreary, lifeless downtown area, since that is what he did more successfully than any other living architect when he designed the Guggenheim in Bilbao. (The phenomenon is even referred to generally as ‘the Bilbao effect.’) He made the first truly popular piece of avant-garde architecture in our time, and suddenly everybody else wanted one, including his own city, where he had not received a major commission until 1988, when he won a competition to design the new hall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.”