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Coop Himmelb(l)au and Queen Margrethe II of Denmark celebrate House of Music opening

United Kingdom Architecture News - Apr 9, 2014 - 12:01   3147 views

Image: Martin Schubert 

On 29 March, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark attended the official opening of the House of Music in Aalborg. Designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, the 20,257 sq m cultural and educational facility has been under construction for the past four years as part of a wider masterplan for the area, also drawn up by Coop Himmelb(l)au.

The unusual shape of the €70m complex has been devised to encourage openness and interaction between users of the building’s different functions. At the core of the House of Music is a 1,300-seat concert hall with curvilinear walls wrapped in concrete for enhanced thermal mass. The smooth, flowing lines of this interior space stand in direct contrast to the angular silhouette of the external form.

“The idea behind the building can already be read from the outer shape. The school embraces the concert hall,” explains Wolf D. Prix, Design Principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)au. As such, the rehearsal and training spaces are arranged in a U-shape that wraps around the core concert hall and is set above the backstage facilities.

A vertical foyer provides access to both the concert hall and the education areas, drawing in natural light through a generous multi-storey window. Beneath the foyer is a cluster of additional spaces, including an intimate hall, a rhythmic hall and a classic hall.

Visitors will also be encouraged to observe the activity within the concert hall from the foyer and practice rooms through the integration of multiple observation windows. Both inside and out, the development is peppered with windows in various shapes, from perfect circles to wide rectangular forms which frame the city beyond.

"Music is the art of striking a chord in people directly. Like the body of musical instruments this architecture serves as a resonance body for the creativity in the House of Music,”concludes Wolf D. Prix.

Image: Martin Schubert 

Image: Martin Schubert 

Image: Martin Schubert 

Image: Coop Himmelb(l)au 

Image: Rene Jeppesen 


Project Facts

Client: North Jutland House of Music Foundation & Danish University and Property Agency 
Local Architect: Friis & Moltke, Aalborg, Denmark
Structure: Rambøll, Aalborg, Denmark; B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany
MEP: Nirás, Aalborg, Denmark
Landscape: Jeppe Andersen, Helsingør, Denmark
Acoustics: Arup

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