reflectors made of corian - Stavanger Concert hall
Building a concert hall is no run-of-the-mill task but a special discipline all of its own. It is not mastered until the perfect harmony of sound, tone, music and acoustics has been achieved. The concert hall is the overture to an unforgettable music experience. But optics should not be left out of the equation, because we also hear with our eyes.
Concert hall: Two in one
The concert hall in Stavanger is in fact »two concert halls«. Because classic, rock, pop and jazz compliment each other in two halls. This dualism of course means different specifications, demands, expectations and solutions. The architect Per Christian Brynildsen from Ratio Arkitekter AS in Norway sums up the scenario as follows: »The basic idea is to equip one hall for natural acoustics primarily for the repertoire of symphonic orchestras and another multi-purpose hall for louder rock and jazz music. Whereby the concert hall is like a delicate violin inside a protective concrete shell. In contrast the multi-purpose hall is a strong metal box enclosed in an open glass shell.« Today Stavanger is adorned by a red concrete box – closed, subtle, warm and protected – and a glass box – open, rugged, cool, adaptable. Particular attention was paid to the concert auditorium, which of course had to meet the high standards required for sound quality and sound experience.
Group of clouds in concert hall
To achieve this, the architects used reflectors that »are necessary for the acoustic quality on the stage. Our aim was to create a »group of clouds« that would draw the attention of the concert-goers while allowing the technical equipment to fade into the background.« Form and surface finish were to create the biggest possible contrast to the warm wood on the front of the balconies and on the walls. Abstraction and dream world – these were the topics for the designers. What was needed now were experienced professionals to convert these ideas into reality while at the same time meeting all the requirements.
implementing architectural VISIONs
The Lindner Group construction company from Arnstorf in Bavaria had already provided extensive consultation before the subsequent commissioning of the architects and was able to contribute its wealth of experience gained in many international concert hall projects. The Lindner team was led by Florian Mendle und Martin Unterstaller who got to work on the interior fittings after a short planning phase of 14 months. »On principle Lindner is always a little reserved where design is concerned. Our aim was to realise the vision of the architects to the best of our ability.« And this is exactly where the cooperation with Hasenkopf began. The present Corian reflectors were originally put out to tender as a glass fibre reinforced plastic structure at the beginning of the project. »However, this material did not meet the high requirements with regard to weight per unit area, translucence, material class etc., so we had to look for a something with a higher quality and that was more innovative.«
CORIAN AS a NEw, innovative material
The great challenge here was to realise the design in a very short time. The re-planning entailed coordinating the acoustics, fire protection class, surface finishes and installation schedule. What we needed was outstanding project management. The extremely large backlit 3-D parts with their acoustic functions and construction mountings had to be fall-safe and statically approved. Equally indispensible requirements were identical colouring and the seamless design of the parts. Florian Mandle recalls: »Hasenkopf drew on its experience to optimise the production process and the per-second accuracy of the temperature control was decisive to ensure there would no problems with the colours and joints.«
high-quality supplier hasenkopf
The people at Lindner trusted in Hasenkopt »because high quality and minimum tolerances were called for and the Corian reflectors could only be joined to the substructure on-site«. Convincing arguments in favour of Hasenkopf include »its extensive support with the technical implementation plus reliability and quality in production and delivery.« In line with its commitment Hasenkopf took over the assembly in Norway itself.
for the future: Corian in concert halls
Lindner sees »great worldwide potential for projects such as the Stavanger concert hall. That is why we created a new division for concert halls, theatres and auditoria a while ago«. The architect Per Christian Brynikdsen expresses his views on the cooperation with Hasenkopf as follows. »A stroke of good fortune, because Corian meets all our specifications«. Future concert-goers enjoying a symphony in Stavanger’s concert hall should cast an eye upwards to the »group of clouds« and remember that two medium-sized enterprises from Bavaria were together responsible for the wonderful sound.
Photos: © Jiri Havran