October 24, 2013 |
A Seattle city review board has given the thumbs-up to an ambitious and unusual biodome design proposed by Amazon as part of its new downtown campus. On Wednesday, Seattle's Design Review Board approved the design by architectural firm NBBJ. According to Geekwire , the architects persuaded the review board that the design would be "engaging and inviting to the public passing by. " Amazon is just one of many tech companies pursuing a distinctive new campus design. Apple's spaceship campus was just recently approved by the City Council of Cupertino, Calif.
October 7, 2013 |
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened its doors 10 years ago this month, is rightly celebrated as the most recognizable jewel in Los Angeles' cultural crown. But we should remember that Disney Hall came very close to not being built at all. Despite a singularly generous $50-million donation from Walt Disney's widow, Lillian, in 1987, a brilliant design by Frank Gehry and an expenditure of nine years and $30 million, there was no Disney Hall by the early 1990s, and it looked like there never would be. The city was attempting to recover from a devastating earthquake, the image-tarnishing O.J. Simpson trial and the shrinking of the local defense industry.
October 3, 2013 |
On Wednesday evening I took part in a panel discussion at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Eli Broad, Frank Gehry and Los Angeles Philharmonic President Deborah Borda. We were guests in a live on-stage version of the KCRW radio program “Which Way, L.A.?,” with Warren Olney and Frances Anderton as hosts. The program was planned to mark the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall. But it was also meant to examine the future of Grand Avenue and long-delayed redevelopment plans for Bunker Hill being overseen by a joint city and county committee.
October 2, 2013 |
The recent turmoil over the Grand Avenue redevelopment effort leaves a bunch of pretty basic questions unanswered. For starters, who exactly is going to design a planned retail, residential and hotel complex across Grand from Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles? The master plan that the joint city-county committee overseeing the project temporarily rejected last week - before changing course and extending its agreement with developer Related Cos. through Jan. 20 - was designed by the big corporate firm Gensler, with contributions from New York architect Robert A.M. Stern.
October 1, 2013 |
The event : Monday night's “L.A. Phil Gala,” celebrating Walt Disney Concert Hall's 10 th anniversary and honoring the hall's innovative architect Frank Gehry. The performance: Gustavo Dudamel conducted the L.A. Phil in a varied program, beginning with John Cage's "4'33,” consisting of only the hall's ambient sounds -- in other words, no music -- and ending with “When You Wish Upon a Star” in tribute to the Disney family. Bach, Tchaikovsky, Ades, Mahler and Saint-Saens came in between, with Yo-Yo Ma performing the solos and videos by artist Netia Jones showing the hall's phases of development.
September 30, 2013 |
The chaos surrounding the Grand Avenue redevelopment may turn out to be a good thing - at least for Frank Gehry and quite possibly for the project as a whole. Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and the Grand Avenue Authority surprised developer Related Cos. last week by severely criticizing and temporarily rejecting its plan for a retail complex crowned by hotel, apartment and condo towers. After that vote, it seemed possible, at least in a worst-case-scenario sort of way, that the project might collapse altogether.