By 2020 Los Angeles could have the second largest subway system in the US, after New York. While this is fantastic news for residents and environmental advocates, one person is not enamoured with the proposed infrastructure plans. World-renowned architect Frank Gehry recently told the Los Angeles Times that performances at the Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall would be ruined by noise from a proposed subway line.
Frank Gehry is no stranger to controversy – whether it stems from his plans for the Eisenhower Memorial or his comments on the LEED certification system. Most recently, the architect has taken issue with a Metro line planned for 2020 that would run below the parking garage of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
“It would be a disaster for Disney Hall,” Gehry said speaking to the Los Angeles Times. There is evidence to suggest the noise would ruin concerts – a series of acoustic experiments were conducted in April, where subwoofers simulating the sound of a passing train could easily be heard in the auditorium.
Speaking to Dezeen, Fred Vogler, a recording engineer for the Los Angeles Philharmonic said: “The test was several minutes long. Then they said, ‘Is anybody troubled by the train sounds?’ We said, ‘Well, we heard them, if that’s what you’re asking.’ It set off a lot of concerns.”
When the subway plans were first unveiled, tests of subway noise were carried out to see if it would affect performances. The report stated that there would be no audible impact on Disney Hall, however Gehry has now called for this decision to be reviewed.
Art Leahy, Metro’s chief executive, has attempted to address concerns saying: “We are not about to do anything which in any fashion, however slightly, impairs or damages … Disney Hall or any other feature in that area.”
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