architectuurstudio HH arranges disparate music venues for tivoli vredenburg
photo © luuk kramer
all images courtesy of architectuurstudio HH




the ‘tivoli vredenburg‘, located in the heart of utrecht, the netherlands, is a music center composed of five separate venues designed by different architecture offices for specific performance types. the complex builds upon, and renovates, an existing symphony hall, with each of the new pieces taking dissimilar formal and aesthetic languages. thus, the project acts as a small urban entity within one building envelope, and represents a new typology that reflects the diverse conditions of our network-based contemporary society.


architectuurstudio HH is responsible for the overall structure’s planning as well as one of the new venues, while the remaining three were conceived by dutch practices jo coenen architects & urbanists, architectuurcentrale thijs asselbergs, and NL architects.

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

the structure is wrapped on three sides by a continual composite wall and roof element
photo © luuk kramer




each of the music halls floats independently from the others within the overall volume of ‘tivoli vredenburg’. the building rises above its surrounding context, with a singular wall and roof element predominantly closing the music center on two sides. glass curtain walls on the remaining façades reveal the diverse characteristics of the disparate venues to the outside. beyond conceptual and organizational considerations, the detached nature of the auditoria functionally serves to provide acoustical separation.

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

through the building’s glass elevations, each of the separate venues is distinctly visible
photo © luuk kramer




the site’s existing symphony space, known as the ‘grand hall’, is the largest venue of ‘tivoli vredenburg’ and was originally designed by herman hertzberger of architectuurstudio HH in 1976. their office carried out its restoration, while also contributing a new chamber music hall called ‘hertz’. it takes a semicircular form in plan, and features a considerable amount of wood surfacing.

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

the concert hall elements pierce the glass curtain wall at particular moments
photo © luuk kramer




the music center contains a pop-rock venue known as ‘ronda’, which was designed by jo coenen architects & urbanists. it takes a hemispherical shape infilled with tiered floors and balconies that allows a close connection between the audience and performers.


architectuurcentrale thijs asselbergs contributed the building’s jazz hall, called ‘cloud nine’. the performance space is clad in wood surfacing, resulting in a warm atmosphere, while complemented by a ‘club’ area which overlooks utrecht’s city center.


the final venue, designed by NL architects and dubbed ‘pandora’, is composed of sweeping forms that link to its surroundings, while containing a deep purple mixed purpose performance space and lower social foyer. for more info on the cross-over hall, see our previous article here.

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

the music center’s atrium and circulation space extends vertically between each of the halls
photo © luuk kramer

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

visitors gather on the roof of the rock-pop venue ‘ronda’, while ‘pandora’ seemingly floats above
photo © luuk kramer

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

photos © luuk kramer

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

photo © luuk kramer

architectuurstudio HH tivoli vredenburg designboom

wood finishes in the jazz hall produce a warm atmosphere
photo © luuk kramer







project info:


location: utrecht, the netherlands
project dates: 2003 – 2009 (design), 2010 – 2014 (construction)
total floor area: 31,000 sqm building (9,500 sqm renovated, 21,500 sqm new)
volume: 180,000 cbm
footprint: 4,800 sqm
site: 6,200 sqm
building cost: € 90,000,000
theater technical cost: € 7,000,000
program: symphony hall (grand hall) with 1717 seats, pop-rock hall (ronda) for 2000 people, jazz hall+ club (cloud 9) for 575 people, chamber music hall (hertz) with 543 seats, cross-over (pandora) hall for 600 people, congres facilities, café and restaurant, offices, shops and merchandise, underground distribution and logistical area
client: municipality of utrecht, POS




architectuurstudio HH: chamber music hall ‘hertz’, renovation symphony hall ‘grote zaal’, masterplan, and supervision
jo coenen architects & urbanists: pop-hall ‘ronda’
architectuurcentrale thijs asselbergs: jazz hall and club ‘cloud 9’
NL architects: cross-over hall ‘pandora’


team members:


architectuurstudio HH: herman hertzberger, patrick fransen, geert mol, jeroen baijens, joeri apontoweil, tom bergevoet, jan van den berg, maartje nuy, freke schalken, ilse bakker, henk de weijer, cor kruter, francine van loon, onne walsmit, paul van dijk, sander monteiro, stephanie lama, wing ung, marijke teijsse, roos eichhorn, carloes pollemans, lars zwirs, arianne du clou, tim cannock, jonas van de walle, gara beukman, jan van de berg
jo coenen architects & urbanists: jo coenen, bettina sätelle, iva köenig, paul verhoeven, joram donkers, will stokkermans, harold aspers, biek van rooij
thijs asselbergs architectuurscentrale: thijs asselbergs, dion nupoort, paul seuntjes, hugo stevens, reggy hulsken, erik roodenburg
NL architects: pieter bannenberg, walter van dijk, kamiel klaasse, sören grünert, kirsten hüsig, thomas scherzer, marc dahmen, gerbrand van oostveen, michael schoner, wim sjerps, martijn stoffels, bobby de graaf, stephan schuelecke, florent le corre, jung-hwa cho, lorena valero miñano, inés quinteiro antolin, giulia pastore




construction engineering: zonneveld ingenieurs
technical installations: ingenieursburo linssen
acoustics and building physics: royal haskoning DHV / level acoustics
safety: SAVE /antea group; adviesburo peutz & associates
building company: heijmans, burgers ergon
artists: aernout mik, jop koelewijn