Well, so much for intellectual curiosity...
RJW: "And to say... "but today we have other expectations from architecture ...even from a concert hall or a museum" completely fails to recognize the tightrope an architect treads between what he would build, what the architecture is purposed for and what the client will pay for."
No, not at all.
Creating buildings that include great public spaces, or are at least people friendly, has little to do with budget. And yes, today we certainly DO expect great public spaces from public buildings like concert halls and museums.
How is the space in and around the building used by the public? Is it inviting? Is it a gathering place? Does it encourage people to linger and enjoy themselves or does it repel? Are the spaces well organized and easy to "read"? Or are they confusing? Are there places in and around the building for people to gather and socialize, or does the building encourage people to just pass by and pass through. Do the spaces promote a feeling of security and safety, or a subtle feeling of wariness? Is the building a place you want to return to?
The Bilboa is stunningly beautiful, no question, but it is actually hostile to vistors... that´s what I saw and felt... the building is in many ways a failure. The Modern Museum in NY is a million times more hospitable (and includes a great public space: it´s sculpture garden). The Metropolitan Museum... even the NY Public Library, have delightful public spaces in front of them that are vibrant with activity (although perhaps more from a happy combination of factors instead of original intent). These spaces enrich the community Even (the roundly critised) Lincoln center with it´s "let´s-meet-at-the-fountain" fountain and room-like park in front of it´s library, are pretty good spaces. The Bilboa is dead by comparison.... with a rather hostile environment in and around the building. (do see the photos in the link I provided) I could only visit quickly his buildings in Dusseldorf because of a rainy, blustery day, but that complex also struck me as being a place that could only repel activity around it. I did not visit the inside.
You don´t need an extra budget to create successful spaces.... it depends on the will and talent of the architect. It depends on his choices. And you cannot tell me that having friendly public spaces "was not his (or the clients) intention".
And I bring up these points because public spaces are what a city is all about.
Ablarc: your comment: "And I think our expectations for a concert hall or museum are about the same as always."
You know that it is not true. Today a museum is expected to be (rightly or wrongly) much more than the purely accademic experience it once was...not only in it´s cultural program, but also in it´s architecture and the use of it´s building.... and that´s why I mention the Brooklyn Museum as an example. The intention of it´s renovation was to make the museum more "inviting" and to create a more vibrant public space at the entrance. Whether the renovation was successful or not is another story....
That will also be a high priority with the Lincoln Center renovation... because welcoming public spaces are what we expect today in cultural buildings.... unlike in the early 60´s when the complex was built.
I am interested to hear more of Lofters experience with the Disney concert Hall. The photos honestly don´t look that promising....I also don´t know if it´s so important if this building connects to the rest of the neighborhood... it is LA after all.