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Chipperfield wins third place in Munich Concert Hall contest

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David Chipperfield Architects (DCA) has been named third-place winner in an international contest to create a landmark new concert venue in Munich

The London-headquartered studio – which won the race for a £45 million home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in Edinburgh earlier this year – is the only UK team among the contest’s top five prize-winners.

Austria’s Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten won the £110,500 top prize, while Hamburg firm PFP took second place; 3XN won fourth place and Berlin-based Staab Architekten took fifth position.

Under the terms of the competition all five teams will now enter into negotiations with the client, which plans to deliver the 1,800-capacity venue on a prominent a 5,300m plot close to Munich’s Ostbahnhof station. The project – which will create a new home for the city’s prestigious Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks – will also include a 600-seat auditorium for smaller performances.

Other participants in the competition included Henning Larsen Architects, Zaha Hadid Architects, Mecanoo, and Christ & Gantenbien, which all received honourable mentions. Longlisted teams included Gehry Partners, Herzog & de Meuron and Snøhetta.

In a statement describing its proposal, DCA said: ‘The design by David Chipperfield Architects Berlin proposes a freestanding, solitary building which takes the form of a ziggurat and appears as a tectonic and terraced landscape within the city. A semi-transparent envelope made of slender concrete supports envelops the building, illuminating the concert functions within to create an open, protected public interior.

‘A forecourt in front of the main entrance sits to the north of the building while a park is situated to the south. Two spatially interlinked cascade staircases, one from the forecourt and the other from the park, wrap their way around the building, climbing in a dual helix formation between the terraces to a belvedere at the top.

‘The belvedere contains a planted garden high above the city, offering views over the Munich skyline. The large, 1,800-capacity concert hall forms the heart of the building, its curving wooden structure contrasting with the orthogonal concrete exterior. The hall offers a contemporary take on the traditional “shoebox” with curved wooden walls and balconies reminiscent of a string instrument.’

The statement continued: ‘Services and circulation are incorporated into the auditorium structure allowing the exterior to appear as a series of stacked terraces overlooking the foyer and offering glimpses of the city beyond. Two spiral staircases add a visual drama to the lobby space, while inside the auditorium the balconies are made of a continuous ribbon which wraps around the hall.

‘A smaller performance hall sits above the main auditorium. Equipped with telescopic seating and a skylight, it offers flexible use for different performance formats. Designed to be used independently from the larger hall, its foyer opens directly on to the Belvedere. Also included in the programme is a workshop for the University of Music and Theatre Munich at ground floor level as well as a bar and restaurant on the higher levels, which take advantage of the terraces to offer outdoor seating.’

DCA is currently working on a restoration of the Haus der Kunst in Munich elsewhere in the city. Earlier this year David Chipperfield hit back at critics who accused him of glorifying Nazi architecture with plans to renovate the landmark structure.

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