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Chipperfield shortlisted for Beethoven concert hall

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David Chipperfield Architects is among three firms vying for a new concert hall in Bonn dedicated to the German composer Ludwig van Beethoven

The RIBA Gold Medallist is up against Aachen-based kadawittfeldarchitektur and Valentiny Architects of Luxemburg in the race for the £55 million Beethoven Festspielhaus project.

The three practices were chosen from a longlist of ten which included Zaha Hadid, Snohetta and UNStudio.

More than 50 studios entered the open competition for the landmark which will replace an existing 1950s city centre concert hall overlooking the River Rhine. The project is backed by the City of Bonn and Deutsche Post DHL.

Planned to complete in 2019, the privately-funded venue will open to the public one year before the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Zaha Hadid and Valentiny Architects were named joint winners in a 2009 contest for the building which later went on hold.

Chipperfield’s four-storey design for the latest competition was inspired by the site’s military past and its cultural context.

He said: ‘For the first time in its history, architecture will be allowing the site to celebrate and enjoy its extraordinary strategic significance.’

The competition organiser said in a statement: ‘In 2020 the planet will celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and in 2027 the 200th anniversary of his death. To anchor these momentous anniversary celebrations and help honor and celebrate Beethoven’s musical legacy into the distant future, a new world-class concert hall, a festspielhaus, will be built on the banks of Beethoven’s beloved Rhine River in his hometown Bonn.’

The statement continued: ‘The new festspielhaus will not only bring Beethoven’s music to life, it will serve as an international “house of music” that brings together diverse genres – from classical to crossover to pop – and attracts music lover of all ages.’

A winner will be selected early next year and construction is planned to begin in 2016.

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