2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Walt Disney Concert Hall

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Kirsten Davis


The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California is an iconic building well known and loved by the public, but at one time the project was considered insurmountable. The Concert hall itself is only one part of the overall experience of the building. Set on top of a spacious and inconspicuous parking garage, the structure itself displays a distinctive image composed of stainless steel, plaster, glass, and concrete. The concept for such a building started in 1987 when Lilian Disney gave a 50-million-dollar donation to the city of Los Angeles. An architect named Frank Gehry provided the design we can see today. Construction was moving smoothly until 1994 when funding issues arose, and the process was brought to a halt. The city considered pulling the project until local philanthropists began to donate in a frenzy, raising approximately 274 million dollars in total. Throughout the construction process there were obstacles that are common with structures of this caliber, but they were successfully overcome to complete the project on October 23rd, 2003. Still today, the outstanding acoustical balance, subtle cues, material use and are considered to be some of the best in the world.

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