Frank Gehry has launched new designs for the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center in Inglewood, Los Angeles, the first permanent, purpose-built facility for Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), an initiative of the LA Phil founded in 2007. This new building will join Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl as a key hub for the LA Phil’s cultural activities.

The design transforms the former branch office of Security Pacific Bank, located at 101 South La Brea Avenue, in the civic center of the City of Inglewood. The light-filled, flexible facility for rehearsals, classes, and performances serving as many as 500 students a year, providing a community gathering space and a cultural resource.

Frank Gehry designs for the YOLA Center in Los Angeles

Exterior model view of the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center @ Inglewood, interior concert configuration. Photo courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP

YOLA currently serves more than 1,200 students in South Los Angeles, the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East LA, with free instruments, intensive music training and academic support, empowering participants to become ‘vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change’.

The new building will enable YOLA to double its student intake and continue working to bring music education to the communities it serves.

Model of the YOLA Center designed by Frank Gehry

Aerial model view of the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center @ Inglewood, concert configuration. Photo courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP

Led by Gustavo Dudamel, music and artistic director, YOLA has become one of the most influential community-based music education programmes in the United States.

‘It’s a privilege for me to work with Gustavo to create a place where students can feel comfortable, secure, and welcome as they learn to express themselves through music,’ says Gehry. §