Friday, 23 May 2008

Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall - Hans Scharoun


Hans Scharoun's Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall, damaged by not destroyed in a recent fire, is said to have the best acoustics of any concert hall yet built.

Like Frank Lloyd Wright, Scharoun was an organic architect -- sometimes known as 'the other modernism' -- which to Scharoun meant working from 'the inside out' to let the building develop based on its essential function rather than by some externally imposed style.  In Wright's words, this produced a building in which form does not just follow function, but in which form and function are one.

Scharoun_small Scharoun's design for the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Hall, produced from 1953 to 1963 introduced concepts to concert hall design such as 'vineyard terracing,' which give superior acoustic performance to the then traditional 'shoe box' design.  And after noting that “people always gather in circles when listening to music informally,” he introduced the then radical concept of ‘music in the round’ -- the building developing from the natural way in which we enjoy music together, and placing everyone close to the performers.

No wonder it plays home to one of the world's great orchestras.


1 comment:

  1. maybe we are going to be paying for one!

    * $4.4 million extra baseline funding over four years for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra


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