Photo by Whit Preston, courtesy of Frank O.
Gehry & Associates.
|MILLENNIUM PARK MUSIC
AND GREAT LAWN
This development in the heart of downtown Chicago
relates to a series of Gehry's open-air projects that
includes the Merriweather-Post Pavilion
(196667) in Columbia, Maryland, the Concord
Performing Arts Center (197376) in Concord,
California, and numerous renovations to the Hollywood
Bowl (197082) in Hollywood, California.
Prominently located in a new park along Michigan
Avenue next to the Art Institute of Chicago, the
Millennium Park Music Pavilion and Great Lawn is part
of Gehry's contribution to an ambitious larger plan
that includes a theater and extensive gardens. In his
design, a serpentine footbridge provides pedestrian
access to Grant Park, located to the west, and also
functions as a buffer against street noise.
As with the Experience Music Project (EMP)
(19952000) in Seattle, the Millennium design
suggests musical qualities. The projecting forms of
the stainless-steel orchestra shell are reminiscent
of brass horns and facilitate the projection of sound
toward the lawn. A trellislike structure emanates
from the shell and arcs over the great lawn while its
form suggests sound waves washing over the audience.
Its design was prompted by the client's desire to
avoid the typical forest of speaker towers, which
would otherwise obstruct the audience's view of a
performance. Rather, a sound system mounted on the
trellis allows the music to float above the