highlights from 2012: disney hall garden

Sorting through last year’s photos I ran across many little piles intended for blog postings that never happened.

One of the roads paved with good intentions led to Los Angeles. We were up June 1 to the Walt Disney Concert Hall for one of the premier concert performances of John Adams’ new oratorio The Passion According to the Other Mary, a big and sprawling work with many amazing musical moments. (The piece is being reprised in early March in a version staged by Peters Sellars.)

Disney Hall exterior reflecting the sunset

Disney Hall exterior with evening sky

Disney Hall southwest side
Disney Hall has established itself as an architectural landmark, for reasons that you can see here. But less publicized is its little roof garden.

Disney Hall Garden big rose fountain for Lilly Disney

The main centerpiece is a delft blue-and-white rose fountain Frank Gehry designed for concert hall benefactor Lilly Disney. During midday the fountain’s blue colors play off the blue of the sky reflected in the thousands of reflective facets of the concert hall’s stainless steel exterior. But we were there at dusk and the reflected colors formed a backdrop of warm tones.

(Writing now, in January, when these short winter days sees darkness falling in late afternoon, it’s comforting to see that within a few months the sun will still be up late into the evening, summer manic to counter the winter depressive. I can hardly wait!)

Disney Hall Garden big rose fountain for Lilly Disney alt

Disney Hall Garden Lilly Disney fountain

Disney Hall Garden plants

Disney Hall Garden Heuchera maxima

Disney Hall Garden coral tree and building

Disney Hall Garden coral tree and building alt

There was a nod to native California with this clump of coral bells, Heuchera maxima, but the other plants drew on the imported botanical palette that you see around Southern California. This blooming coral trees were probably the most prominent among them.

Disney Hall interior with the french fries

Going inside the hall, the wacked out organ pipes behind the orchestra always amaze me. The architect refers to them as his “French fries.”

So ends this delayed little tour of a sight from last year. If my blog hosting service spares me further times without service, I’ll have a few more glimpses back ahead, along with what some Southern California gardens are doing in the lengthening days of late winter.

6 thoughts on “highlights from 2012: disney hall garden

  1. ricki

    We saw that building under construction, but have not been back to see the finished product. You certainly captured the sculptural quality in your stunning photos.

  2. maggie

    Thanks for letting me know about that roof garden! I had no idea it existed. I love your first photo showing the building side and the fountain.
    Is that blue and white rose glazed ceramic, or is it terrazzo?

  3. James Post author

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! Maggie, yes, the fountain is made of glazed, shattered ceramic. Some of it’s tiles, but apparently a number of vases gave their lives for the greater good as well.

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