The Muziekgebouw is located in the centre of Amsterdam at the end of the Piet Hein pier. 3XN won the competition to design Amsterdam’s new music building in 1997, however, construction did not begin until 2001.
Completed in 2005, Musiekbouw is a public building with two musical establishments: IJsbreker and Bimhuis. They appear as clearly defined elements, connected by a plinth with stairs, separating the public and internal spaces.
Bimhuis, a 300-seat room within the exterior shell, hosts jazz and other improvised music. The music house at IJ appears as a heavy, oblique mass made from untreated in situ concrete, with the concert hall partitioned behind a sound-insulating screen.
Inside, the horizontal wooden strips on the walls conceal a system of LED lamps that can produce all colours of the spectrum.
All elements are unified by a one-storey roof sheaf. The Muziekgebouw is well known for being an urban landmark, but on closer inspection the scheme combines a number of individual elements. The complex is an urban park with events in a rich variety
– a place for everyone.
Transparency is a key word in the Muziekgebouw Aan’t IJ, logistically as well as physically. The building is open to the public around the clock, and it is designed to make everyone feel welcome, even when they are not headed for one of the concert
halls. The area between the two concert halls is narrow, tall and canyonlike.
The building opens towards the plaza by the river, covered by the cantilevered roof. At nightfall, the visible transparency is even more remarkable, and the two concert hall elements stand out, surrounded by the public hall.
The foyer decks for the Muziegebouw concert hall extend into the tall public hall. The halls appear connected, but are actually detached. This solves ticket and security problems without reducing visual qualities.
The LED light feature in the large concert hall represents a new way to experience music. The principle is similar to a colour TV: three LEDs – red, green, blue – can be programmed to take on certain colours at particular times during the
concert, and to actually pulsate in time with the music.
The hall has a ceiling that can be lowered to create variable acoustics, a flexible seating arrangement and a very broad stage. All of these elements add to the exhilarating atmosphere of the Muziekgebouw.
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