Bonn, Germany, 2014
Through both the form and arrangement of the volumes and the use of materials in the building, the design of the theatre reflects the juxtaposition of the robust and light in Beethoven’s work. Solid enclosed concrete volumes of differing size and shape are interspersed with transparent glazed facades, emulating the arrangement of different musical keys and the unexpected notes that join them. The organisation and materialisation of the elements that compose the building’s volume create a composition based on fluctuating tones, rhythms and modulations. In the interior the composition is further expanded upon by contrasting the solidity of the floating concrete volumes with transparency and the lightness of varied wood finishes.
Daylight plays an essential role in the public experience of the building. The large glazed areas open up views of the surroundings and the adjacent river, while adjustable skylights allow natural light to filter into enclosed spaces from above, illuminating not only the public areas, but also untypically the stage of the main auditorium.
The theatre is designed with a distinctly public function: both classical and contemporary concerts are accommodated in the main auditorium, whilst the vertical public lobby provides an informal amphitheater and gathering space that extends the invitation of the Beethoven Centre to the public at large.
The vertical lobby functions as a second, congenial public theatre and event space where small scale and solo performances can be programmed and exhibitions and events can be hosted. As such, the new Beethoven Theatre expands from a venue for scheduled formal performances, to a multifunctional centre for continued public engagement. Furthermore, the transparency of the glazed volumes creates an inside-outside condition and opens the building up in performance and display to the city.
Client: Deutsche Post DHL
Location: Theaterstrasse, 53111, Bonn, Germany
Building surface: 10.400 m²
Building volume: 65.000 m³
Building site: 6.700 m²
Programme: Symphonic Concert hall
Status: competition entry
UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with René Wysk, Filippo Lodi and Alexander Kalachev, Maud van Hees, Nanang Santoso, Jingbo Yan, Claudia Mayer
Acoustics, structure, MEP, Sustainability: Arup
Lighting: AG Licht
Auditorium Design: Theateradvies bv