News 18-10 (No.370)
Issued : October 25, 2018
Design begins for new concert hall in Brno (Czech Republic)
By Marc Quiquerez
Rendering of the building exterior
(courtesy of KONIOR STUDIO Tomasz Konior)
On January 15, 2018, the Consortium comprised of Konior Studio (Katowice, Poland), Architekti Hrůša & spol., Atelier Brno (Brno, Czech Republic) and Nagata Acoustics signed a contract with the City of Brno (Czech Republic) to develop the new Janacek Cultural Center.
At the heart of the project, the new concert hall, programmed for a seated audience capacity of no less than 1,250, will become the new home of Brno Philharmonic Orchestra.
It is currently projected to complete and open in 2022.
Nagata Acoustics will provide room acoustical consulting services for the design and construction of the new hall.
<< Background >>
Overlooked by Špilberk Castle to the West, the project site is situated just a stone throw away from Besední dům, the current resident hall of the orchestra.
Built in the early 1870â€™s by Danish architect Theophil Hansen, whose concert hall credentials include none other than Musikverein in Vienna (Austria), the facility has been at the center of the cultural life of the city ever since. It is also closely linked to the life and musical career of Leos Janacek, who lived and worked in Brno. However, the hall was initially built as a cultural center rather than a dedicated performance space, and its overall dimensions and stage capacity does not make it suitable for the entirety of the wide-ranging repertoire of the orchestra. Its limited seating capacity (around 500) also greatly limits the orchestraâ€™s audience reach.
A first design competition was held in 2003-2004, but the project was quickly faced with zoning and planning difficulties. A building permit was finally issued in 2014 for Phase 1 of the project, the construction of an underground parking structure on the site, and construction soon began.
In the interim, the local authorities amended their initial brief and ambitions for the project, aiming at increasing the seating capacity of the hall over 1,000 and drawing inspiration from the wave of new concert halls which had opened across Europe in the decade since the original competition. A new two-stage competition was launched in 2016 to appoint a new design team for Phase 2 of the project, which concluded with the selection in 2017 of the Konior Studio-Atelier Brno-Nagata Acoustics consortium.
<< Concept >>
The team is currently working on developing a new concept and the principles of Interconnection with the underground structure and facilities, leading up to the application for Building Permit of the Phase 2. It will be followed by a design development which shall include acoustical studies of a physical scale model.
Rendering of the concert hall interior
(courtesy of KONIOR STUDIO Tomasz Konior)
Building on inputs from the client and orchestra, and due the site constraints, the conceptual design for the hall is developing vertically with three stacked rings of terrace and balconies fitted in a footprint approximating a square. Balconies are detached from the envelope at the inner corners in order to make the most effective use possible of the large volume of the room. With the conductorâ€™s podium located near the geometric center of the plan, the stage is dimensioned to accommodate a large orchestra, but seated audience can also populate the upstage risers for performances with smaller ensembles.
The hall is lifted above the ground level to make way for an ample lobby connecting two wings of functions, with back-of-house to the west and front-of-house to the east. Front-of-house facilities will enjoy generous daylight and views to the city through glazed facades and a skylight overlooking circulations to and around the hall.
Nagata Acoustics Inc.
Hongo Segawa Bldg. 3F, 2-35-10 Hongo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Tel: +81-3-5800-2671, Fax: +81-3-5800-2672
1990 S. Bundy Drive, Suite 795
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: +1-310-231-7878, Fax: +1-310-231-7816
75, avenue Parmentier
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 21 44 25, Fax: +33 (0)1 40 21 24 00