The rebirth of the Hollywood Bowl marked the end of a six-year process in which Hodgetts +Fung re-invented the acoustics, enhanced the functionality, and nearly doubled the size of the eighty-year old icon it replaced, while echoing the memory and visual identity of the original.
A design for the all new Hollywood Bowl was commissioned in 2000. Design criteria stipulated that the structure be flexible enough to accommodate not only traditional orchestral ensembles, but miked events such as world music, jazz, and pop music; as well as large travelling shows that install their own lighting, sound and scenic elements.
As both principals at HplusF work professionally in many areas of theatrical production, it was possible to achieve a high degree of integration between the many disciplines involved in a project of this type, thus meeting and exceeding the LA Philharmonic's desire for an uncluttered and romantic orchestra shell for the presentation of a classical repertoire.
Hodgetts + Fung’s innovative design for the computer controlled "acoustic halo" was prompted by the unpredictability of atmospheric conditions as well as the indeterminate nature of acoustic analysis of an outdoor space. Accordingly, the baffles can be preset to optimize the performance of the shell for various ensembles. In practice the halo required only a brief adjustment prior to the debut concert, which was ecstatically received by musicians and audience alike. To complement the acoustical design,the baffles are designed to fold upwards in order to disappear into the shell thus enabling shows using standard lighting trusses to load in and out quickly and inexpensively.
“Los Angeles saved one icon, the band shell, while gaining another, the halo.” - Greg Goldin
Retention of the Bowl’s signature form, an icon known throughout the world, was of paramount concern to both historians and the general public, yet gradual deterioration of the physical structure, and a series of less-than-successful acoustic modifications dictated a ground-up design which retained the visual characteristics of the original shell yet provided a musically superior acoustic environment.