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Team Disney Building

Some say the massing and profile of this building reminds them of an ocean liner. The hollow ‘stack’ or cone rises 120 feet above the 4 story office building which is the administrative headquarters for the Walt Disney Company. The YouTube video link shows the approach to the entrance, which includes passing under two metal arches shaped to form ‘Micky ears’. The same shape is repeated as an overhang sheltering the front doors. It extends through the wall into the lobby. A commissary on the main floor has beautiful views across the reflecting pool from the dining tables.

Arata Isozaki of Tokyo designed the headquarters office building for Walt Disney World Resort employees located at Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, Florida. The building can be seen through the trees from the interstate. Steel cut-outs of the Seven Dwarves have been added to the landscape near the main entrance. The dramatic structure has since been recognized with local, state and national design awards for its architectural significance.

The four story, 415,000 sf building was designed to evoke elements of time and movement. It is both intellectually stimulating and light-hearted. The structure consists of two four-story wings totaling 820 feet in length. It houses 1,200 employees. Two orderly structured wings converge in a playful clash of geometric forms in the middle, from which a 120 foot tall sundial emerges. The intersecting boxes are covered in unique lively patterns, some created in painted stucco, granite or glass and metal panels. The large hollow truncated cone with a yellow stylus above serves a solar clock as well as a contemplative space at ground level. The floor of that space is large rocks, not meant to be walked on, but viewed from a paved landing on one side. This court contains quotes from great minds including Einstein and Donald Duck.

The sundial’s tilt suggests movement. The idea of time as the building theme is veiled but discoverable as you explore the building. Its nearly 900-foot length approximates the distance sound travels in one second. Office space is functionally efficient and flexible. Large frescoes by Sol LeWitt add energy to the wing ends and are visible across the open atrium spaces which allow light and casual communication to occur internally.



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