9th international architecture exhibition in venice, italy, 2004 /italian pavillion / concert halls
9th international architecture exhibition in venice, italy, 2004 /
/ italian pavillion notes on the architecture
of hans scharouns and frank gehrys concert halls
by kurt w. forster / exerpt from the biennale catalogue
(...) in most places, opera houses preceded the construction
of separate concert venues. existing buildings were adapted
for the performance of music, (...) but their drama is all
internalized. (...) like theatres, they require aesthetic distance,
but instead of defining it by means of visual framing, theirs
is established by acoustics. (...) as public spaces, concert halls
have moved further and further way from the typology of
theatres, tending towards the shape and condition of arenas.
(...) jorn utzons sidney opera house of 1955 represents the
first instance of the radical rethinking of a hall. it passed through
a long process of redesign by the engineers of arup and therefore
did not see completition until 1973. conceived as an urban
landmark (...) a continuum between inside and outside.
(...) hans scharoun described the berlin philharmonie of 1956
as possessing the pattern of a landscape, with the auditorium
seen as a valley, (...) the ceiling resembling a tent (...) the
exuberance exuded by his visionary ideas suggests
spontaneous associations with music (...).
the only other concert hall to rise to the challenge scharoun left
behind is, in my opinion, frank gehrys walt disney hall in
los angeles. gehry has lived out to the letter what scharoun expressed as his hope for architecture shortly before his
death: it is our wish that vital movement not be stifted by
premature rigidity, (...) that there will be no hasty perfection
- not even in the realm of technology. instead of perfection,
may improvisation prevail, showing the way to further evolution.
(...) scharouns and gehrys conert halls share in this spirit of improvisation in a manner deeply akin to the musical improvisation (...). with the words by theodor w. adorno: beautiful, because,
in order to create ideal conditions for orchestral music, it becomes similar to music, without borrowing from it.