Team Disney Building in Orlando, Florida by Arata Isozaki & Associates

On the occasion of Arata Isozaki’s 2019 Pritzker Prize win, we revisit our 1996 review of the Team Disney Building – “the most architecturally pure" of Disney’s building empire.

Arata Isozaki’s Disney Team Building in Orlando, which was opened in 1991, is still the most architecturally pure of Disney’s buildings. The long side wings, where 1200 people work, are fully integrated into the scheme and form the necessary counterbalance to the exploding cascades of the central part of the building.

The large rotunda, open at the top, is also a sun dial, the largest in the world. Thus, even Disney’s most abstract building tells a story, the story of time. And finally the stylised ears of the mouse recall Isozaki’s numerical and formal reference to Marilyn Monroe’s curves in his MoCA in Los Angeles. The form, materials and colours of the building are echoed in the large paintings by Sol LeWitt which hang in the atria. 

Longitudinal section of the model. The space around the large cylinder accommodates big, open-plan offices, with only a few partitions

The article was originally published in Domus 787 in November 1996 as part of a report on The Disney Syndrome.

The Disney Syndrome is actually a general theme in a kind of entertainment architecture that is becoming ever stronger. It is still not recognised as serious architecture. But it can be argued that this kind of architectural programme was actually invented by the Disney Corporation and has been built with exemplary perfection.  

Arata Isozaki & Associates
Hunton Brady Pryor Maso Architect
Walt Disney World Resort

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