Architect Frank Gehry, who designed the curved, stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, has something more conventional in mind for the nearby downtown redevelopment project.
A Los Angeles resident, Gehry was hired in July by the developer of the downtown Grand Avenue Project, Related Cos., for the $1.8-billion (U.S.) project after Disney Hall won positive reviews from architecture critics who compared it to a silver galleon.
Gehry, who also created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, will design most of the buildings in the $500-million first phase of the project, which aims to transform downtown L.A. into a residential and retail hub. Redevelopment officials are trading on the celebrity of Gehry's name to press for project approvals. "The initial dream was to have it be our Champs ElysÃ©e," Dan Ross, chairman of the University of Southern California's Lusk Center for Real Estate, said in an interview. "Gehry could fulfill that."