Hodgetts + Fung collaborated with the Gershwin Trust and the Library of Congress to create a gallery inside of the Walt Disney Concert Hall so that concert-goers could enjoy a glimpse of the Library's music archive.
Frank Gehry’s palette of perforated plywood, stainless steel, and a multi-colored carpet formed an integrated, powerful space within which the gallery needed to be both assertive and contextual. Our solution was to adapt the materials and the operational parameters of drilling, bending, and joining; but to exaggerate and reverse the figure and ground. Large drilled holes became a dominant characteristic, while the Douglas fir vitrines have been excavated, rather than built up from flat panels.
To protect the artifacts culled from the music and historical collections of the Library of Congress, the gallery is built to museum specifications with low-level fiber-optic lighting and sophisticated temperature and humidity controls. The resulting sharp contrast between the illumination of the public areas of the Concert Hall and that of the Gershwin Gallery is mediated by a two-tiered approach to lighting which casts a welcoming illumination at floor level yet maintains the low light levels required within the display cases. Large drilled holes mimic perforations of the lobby walls.
Carved into the void between the undulating walls of the lobby, the available space was to be sandwiched between the grand concourse and the recital stage, offering an ideal opportunity for a moment's diversion. The small size of the gallery footprint band the intimate relationship of visitors to the display required an unusually refined emphasis on materials and craftsmanship.