Andermatt Concert Hall
Special Award for Reuse and Adaptation
Sponsored by EPR Architects
Level of Award
Information about this scheme
The project transforms an existing underground space, a concrete box that was primarily intended to be used for conferences and conventions. The design approach has created a jewel in the centre of the town, that reveals its programme to the square.
By adding a glass façade, the hall is awash with natural light, allowing the audience to be surrounded by a whirlwind of snow in winter, and in the summer by mountains and sunshine. From street level, the acoustic reflectors are seen as floating over an empty space, like a piece public art. Passers-by can see into the concert hall, including the audience and orchestra from the street, as a spectacle, offering an active frontage.
The design lifts a large section of the existing roof to double the effective acoustic volume to 5,340 sqm, increasing the total capacity to able to host a full symphony orchestra and auditorium. Due to the planning parameters of the site, only a portion of the roof could be elevated, making the stage configuration slightly awkward. Therefore, a centralised stage concept was adopted to create a symmetrical space.
The origami configuration of the interior of the hall was devised with Kahle Acoustics to create a well-balanced natural sound. The hall is also equipped with an electroacoustic system that allows a greater reverberation time to enable louder orchestral ensembles to perform.
The project achieved Swiss Minergie Certification, which exceeds LEED Platinum in its assessment criteria, incorporating passive design features such as using underground water for cooling, increased thermal insulation in exposed walls, triple-glazed façade and improved airtightness. The Andermatt Concert Hall is used for a variety of purposes, with adaptability to accommodate different seating arrangements or events. The flexibility and ease of changing layouts is based on a retractable system that allows rows of bleachers to disappear under the main balcony.
The local community was engaged throughout which has resulted in an extremely successful cultural and community object within an expanding urban village.
“The inventive reuse of existing structures challenges the unnecessary and wasteful demolition of buildings with the added benefit of substantial embodied energy savings.
The Andermatt Concert Hall in Switzerland has successfully transformed a pre-existing underground concrete box, initially intended to host conferences, into an extraordinary multipurpose arts venue.
Unusual for this building typology the venue benefits from natural light thanks to the architectural response of raising the roofline and introducing a glass façade.
The upper volume of the concert hall animates the surrounding public realm and provides glimpsed views of the internal activities whilst also allowing the audience to engage with the stunning landscape and changing seasons.”
Civic Trust Awards National Judging Panel
Studio Seilern Architects
Andermatt Swiss Alps
Michael Josef Heusi GmbH
Primary Use Class
Class D2g - Theatre