Overcoming the inherent limitations of an earlier 1950s building, the new Beethoven Symphony Hall links city to Rhine promenade, creating and enriching public life besides this great river.
The new structure rises as a porous, multifaceted crystalline mass, growing out of earth, seeming to float on water – presenting a dramatic atrium, the ‘Rhine Foyer’ to both river and city. Welcoming and exciting visitors in anticipation of a unique musical and architectural experience.
Visitors circulate through and around the building at many levels, moving through an artificial landscape typified by terraces, elevated foyers and exterior plateaus. Primary access from Bonn is via a long, diagonal passage or ‘erosion’ connecting city centre to the Rhine Foyer, from which staircases descend to both promenade and river. Here, curved seating faces out over seasonal floating performance area as light descending from within the structure transforms the hall into a performer in its own right.
Within the building, inlays to the larger wooden symphonic hall mimic the resonance of a musical instrument; its formal counterpoint is a smaller recital chamber. Both spaces are effectively ‘wrapped’ within their own skins – both volumes are subtly visible through the exterior envelope – further enhancing the sensation that this is a natural arena formed by rock arrangements and erosions.