Complaints take shine off Gehry's L.A. concert hall
Last Updated Tue, 30 Nov 2004 16:36:04 EST
LOS ANGELES - A new $274 million US concert hall designed by Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry is proving too brilliant for some of its neighbours in downtown Los Angeles.
The stainless steel exterior of the Walt Disney Concert Hall has been partially covered by a grey mesh fabric for months to try to reduce a bothersome glare that has sparked complaints from motorists, pedestrians and people living in a nearby condominium complex.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering a report that recommends sandblasting portions of the building to create a duller, less-reflective surface.
Gehry, who was born in Toronto but lives in Los Angeles, is an acclaimed architect known for his trademark swooping shapes and his use of eye-catching shiny materials in buildings around the world, such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
But complaints about the sprawling 89,306 square metre concert hall in Los Angeles have been flowing into the local politicians since it was officially opened in October 2003.
Initially people in the condo tower complained that the building's swooping towers were reflecting the sun's rays and ruining their view of the city.
Throughout the summer, passing motorists reported being distracted by the reflected rays, while pedestrians described having to cross the street to avoid the intense heat.
The report, which was delivered to local politicians last week, said temperatures on sidewalks adjacent to the concert hall reached higher than 58 C.
The owner of a nearby video store said the reflected rays during this summer made her work feel "like sitting in a sauna."
The Walt Disney Concert Hall features a state-of-the-art 2,265-seat auditorium which serves as the home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Gehry could not be reached for comment on Monday.
A decision on the fate of the exterior is expected to be reached by January.