House of Music

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU as Association

House of Music as a creative center for Aalborg The multifunctional complex combines school and concert hall

The "House of Music" in Aalborg, Denmark, 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 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

VOLA as Manufacturers

Coop Himmelblau's design for the House of Music features the VOLA HV1 and VOLA HV1ET36.

Pitagoras armchair for the House of Music

Poltrona Frau Group Contract as Manufacturers

Poltrona Frau is proud to contributed with its 1300 Pitagoras armchair to the creation of House of Music, a hybrid space based on the concept of sharing and creation of synergies among public, artists, students and educators. The brilliant particularity of House of Music, over obviously the architecture of Coop Himmelb (l) au, is the 1300 seats concert hall and the U-form structure with an auditorium and other smaller rooms used as practice room and to hold lessons of music.

Unity Makes Sweet Music in Aalborg

Knauf Danoline as Manufacturers

Musikkens Hus (House of Music) in Aalborg is the new cultural centre of the town, and in the northern Jutland region. This impressive piece of architecture, which was officially opened in the Spring of 2014, is designed by the world renowned Austrian architect Coop Himmelb(l)au. The building is a part of a larger masterplan for renovating the protected area along the waterfront in Aalborg, with a view of the Limfjord. In the middle of Musikkens Hus is the foyer and the concert hall with seating for 1300 guests. Around the concert hall one can find smaller music rooms, rehearsal and classrooms for students of the nearby Aalborg University, the music school and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. In order to fulfill the buildings musical purpose and to design elegant yet functional rooms was the architects first priority in order to ensure unusually good acoustics. In collaboration with the leading New York-based acoustic consultants Artec Consultants, a lot of time was therefore invested and a lot of effort was put into creating the right acoustic environment – not just for the larger concert hall but also the surrounding rooms. For the rehearsal rooms, classrooms and other functional areas, Coop Himmelb(l)au wished for a uniform, demountable ceiling, where the perforations would stretch all the way to the edge. Knauf Danoline delved into the task and the result was to be an acoustic ceiling that combined neutral architectural acoustics and optimised reverberation with the suitable degree of sound absorption and sound reflection. This makes it possible for musicians adn their teachers to hear music correctly. According to the architects, Contur Unity 6 was chosen due to their sound absorbing qualities and the low installation height. The installation weight is particularly important for architectural acoustics, as it means that the ceiling heigh is only reduced by a small amount. Furthermore, it is possible to ensure a clean and uniform ceiling surface as the perforations stretch all the way to the edge of the tiles, whilst also hiding the suspended T-grid. The successful cooperation together with Coop Himmelb(l)au is the inspiration behind our Unity concept. By moving the perforations to the edge of the tile, Unity gains 2 distinct advantages – higher sound absorption as well as a more uniform expression across the ceiling.

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct link
ManufacturersVOLAVOLA HV1, VOLA HV1ET36
ManufacturersKnauf DanolineContur
ManufacturersPoltrona Frau Group Contract
Product Spec Sheet
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