The developer, Related Cos., Asked the architect to take on the order after a year and a half of hesitation. The idea to turn the main thoroughfare of a huge city into a kind of Parisian Champs Elysees appeared soon after the triumphant opening of the Disney Concert Hall (project of F. Gehry) in the fall of 2003. In addition to this notable building, the Music Center, the Museum of Modern Art (both are large buildings of 1960 -s) and the recently erected Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels by Raphael Moneo. At the same time, in essence, it is more of a highway than a street in the city center. Then Gehry and Moneo proposed their project for the development of the area, but the authorities preferred to announce a competition among construction companies.
One of the groups included Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Greg Lynn and others, but it did not even make it to the final in May 2004. There was Related (New York) with David Childs of SOM and Tom Maine ("Morphosis") and a smaller firm Forest City (California), which did not name "its" architects. In August 2004, Related, which recently completed a large Times Warner mixed-use facility in New York, won the title. But the creation of a master plan for Grand Avenue was delayed. In March 2005, it was announced that Tom Mayne was leaving due to creative conflicts with the company's management.
The contract with Gehry is scheduled to be signed in early August. Opposite the Disney Concert Hall, a high-rise building of 40-50 floors is expected to be erected, two residential buildings, a cinema, a bookstore, a supermarket and other retail outlets will be built nearby. A residential tower of 35-40 floors, several more office and residential buildings will appear a little further.
Gehry will design the most important ones himself, and determine the general line of the ensemble. For more detailed work on the rest of the buildings, other architects will be invited.