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Disney's Concert Hall (WDCH)

Erecting Disney's Concert Hall was a mammoth build. It actually took over 4,000 days to build, from the 7-level subterranean 2,188 stall parking garage, serving as the Concert Hall's base which was constructed between December 1992 and March 1996 through the substantial completion of the Concert Hall in June 2003. WDCH was not actually open to the public until October 2003. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is now the most recognizable iconic building in downtown Los Angeles located immediately south of the music center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on a full city block bordered by First Street, Second Street, Hope Street and Grand Avenue.  Sitting on 3.6 acres in Los Angeles it is designed to be open and welcoming. The main entrance of the hall features sweeping expanses of glass, a grand stairway and oval courtyard, as well as several atria spaces. The street-level glass façade of the building invites passers-by inside the light-filled lobby and encourages them to visit the box office, gift shop, signature restaurant and café.  Inside the 293,000 square foot Concert Hall are the main auditorium, other performance spaces, backstage areas for musicians and house management staff, several refreshment bars and beverage bars, a restaurant for fine dining, a café and gift shop.  The Walt Disney Concert Hall started actual construction on November 15, 1999 with the Cal Arts Theatre (REDCAT), which is located in the southwest corner of the Concert Hall complex of Second and Hope Streets. Construction on the Core Project superstructure began on December 8, 1999.  The structural steel erection commenced on August 9, 2000 , and the steel frame was completed in November 2001.  In September 2001, the installation of the stainless steel panels that create the Hall's lustrous façade began.  The Concert Hall's provocative exterior superstructure is clad in architectural stainless steel and provides downtown Los Angeles with a strikingly creative landmark.  Ironically, you can't see most of the work that VNSM preformed as a majority of the work was in the flashings related to the waterproofing, literally behind the scenes.  The exterior stainless steel cladding is beautiful, but it is not waterproof.  Water proof protection of this great architectural marvel fell into the hands of the VNSM work force.  Stainless steel flashings were used throughout the structure and between the ever changing materials and methods of construction.   Coordination between VNSM's work and the masons, glazers, structural steel, plasterers, and the cladding panel trades was critical in guaranteeing fit, finish, and weather infiltration of its waterproof installation system .  The entire curving wall at the main entrance is floating over an aluminum skin installed by VNSM.  The masonry openings and ledgers are all flashed with stainless steel. The coping on the main auditorium roof is actually a walkway, designed to take foot traffic off of the roof.  Structural penetrations were flashed with stainless steel flashings, field cut and welded to fit.  VNSM also preformed the installation of automated smoke hatches as part of the building's life safety systems.  The operation of each hatch is remotely controlled from the fire control room.  All of the hatches can be operated from the control room for testing and maintenance.  The work that is visible, which VNSM preformed, is the louvers and grilles throughout the structure.  Some of these locations include Second Street , in the auditorium lobby soffits and notably an irregular conic section on the east balcony patio.  There are concealed louvers in the structure, some as large as 40' by 20'.  On Hope Street , you can see custom designed and fabricated egg-crate grilles. Although hidden from the eye this shining structure is a testimony to VNSM's ability to coordinate work with other trades on any size project and again proves that VNSM is a leader in today's waterproof world.

Egg-Crate grille Manufacturer: L & L Louvers
Louver Manufacturer: Construction Specialties, Inc.
General Contractor: M. A. Mortenson Company
Architect: Frank Gehry

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