House of Music Opening Aalborg, Denmark Cultural Centre, Danish Architecture
House of Music Opening Aalborg
Musikkens Hus, Jutland, Denmark – design by COOP HIMMELB(L)AU architects
10 Apr 2014
Aalborg Cultural Centre
Design: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, architects
Location: Aalborg, Denmark
House of Music as a creative center for Aalborg
This Danish multifunctional complex was opened on March 29, 2014.
After four years of construction, the “House of Music” in Aalborg, Denmark was ceremoniously opened on March 29, 2014 by the Danish Queen Margrethe II.
This cultural centre was designed by the Viennese architectural studio Coop Himmelb(l)au as a combined school and concert hall: its open structure promotes the exchange between the audience and artists, and the students and teachers. “The idea behind the building can already be read from the outer shape. The school embraces the concert hall,” explained Wolf D. Prix, design principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)au.
U-shaped rehearsal and training rooms are arranged around the core of the ensemble, a concert hall for about 1,300 visitors. A generous foyer connects these spaces and opens out with a multi-storey window area onto an adjacent cultural space and a fjord. Under the foyer, three more rooms of various sizes complement the space: the intimate hall, the rhythmic hall, and the classic hall. Through multiple observation windows, students and visitors can look into the concert hall from the foyer and the practice rooms and experience the musical events, including concerts and rehearsals.
The concert hall
The flowing shapes and curves of the auditorium inside stand in contrast to the strict, cubic outer shape. The seats in the orchestra and curved balconies are arranged in such a way that offers the best possible acoustics and views of the stage. The highly complex acoustic concept was developed in collaboration with Tateo Nakajima at Arup. The design of the amorphous plaster structures on the walls and the height-adjustable ceiling suspensions, based on the exact calculations of the specialist in acoustics, ensures for the optimal listening experience. The concert hall will be one of the quietest spaces for symphonic music in Europe, with a noise-level reduction of NR10 (GK10). Thanks to its architectural and acoustic quality, the concert hall is already well-booked: there will be concerts featuring the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with violin soloist Arabella Steinbacher and the Danish National Radio Orchestra with soprano Mojca Erdmann in April.
The foyer serves as a meeting place for students, artists, teachers, and visitors. Five stories high with stairs, observation balconies, and large windows with views of the fjord, it is a lively, dynamic space that can be used for a wide variety of activities.
For Wolf D. Prix, the “House of Music” is a symbol of the unity between music and architecture: “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.”
The energy concept
Instead of fans, the foyer uses the natural thermal buoyancy in the large vertical space for ventilation. Water-filled hypocaust pipes in the concrete floor slab are used for cooling in summer and heating in winter. The concrete walls around the concert hall act as an additional storage capacity for thermal energy. The fjord is also used for cost-free cooling.
The piping and air vents are equipped with highly efficient rotating heat exchangers. Very efficient ventilation systems with low air velocities are attached under the seats in the concert hall.
Air is extracted through a ceiling grid above the lighting system so that any heat produced does not cause a rise in the temperature in the room.
The building is equipped with a building management program that controls the equipment in the building and ensures that no system is active when there is no need for it. In this way, energy consumption is minimized.
House of Music Aalborg – Building Information
Client: North Jutland House of Music Foundation, Aalborg, Denmark
Planning: COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Wolf D. Prix & Partner ZT GmbH
Design Principal/ CEO: Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner: Michael Volk
Design Architect: Luzie Giencke
Project Architect: Marcelo Bernardi, Pete Rose
Design Architect Interior: Eva Wolf
CAD-Coordinator: Ronny Böser, Benjamin Schmidt
Project team: Markus Baumann, Wendy Fok, Robin Heather, Ivana Jug, Ariane Marx, Anja Sorger, Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Anna Wasserthal, Philip Wilck
Blaine Lepp, Talya Kozminsky, Hannes Walzl, Morten Grau Jensen, Stephanie Neufeld, Tyler Bornstein, Laura Githa, Julia Gärtner, Jenny Draxlbauer
3D Visualisierung: Armin Hess/ Isochrom, Vienna; Silkroad, Beijing, China;
Jens Mehlan, Jörg Hugo
Local Architects: Friis & Moltke, Aalborg, Denmark
Acoustics, Audio-Visual & Theatre Design and Planning Consultant: Arup, New York, USA
Landscape Architect: Jeppe Aagaard Andersen, Helsingør, Denmark
Structural Engineering: Rambøll, Aalborg, Denmark;
B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany
Mechanical, Electrical and Fire Engineering: Nirás, Aalborg, Denmark
Cost consultant: Davis Langdon LLP, London, UK
Lighting Design Consultant: Har Hollands, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interior Design Consultant: Eichinger Offices, Vienna, Austria
Net floor area: 17.637 m²
Gross floor area: 20.257 m²
Concert hall: 1.298 Sitzplätze
Competition (1st place): 2003
Layout planning HoM I: 2003-2005
Postponement of the project: 2006-2007
Start of layout planning HoM II: 2008
Start of construction HoM II: 2010
Completion HoM II: 2014
House of Music Opening Aalborg 1-6: © Martin Schubert
Aalborg Culture Centre 4 : © Rene Jeppesen
House of Music Opening – Musikkenshus images / information from COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
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House of Music Opening Building, Jutland