henning larsen celebrates winning 'kontrapunkt' arts center for bergen, norway

henning larsen celebrates winning 'kontrapunkt' arts center for bergen, norway

a state-of-the-art concert hall for bergen


Henning Larsen Architects is announced winner of an international design competition for the Grieg Quarter, a new arts center in Bergen, Norway. The winning proposal, titled Kontrapunkt, promises a state-of-the-art concert hall that integrates with the existing fabric of the city. The Grieg Quarter competition attracted a strong field of 32 participants, with five finalists shortlisted. Among the competing teams were renowned names like Kengo Kuma & Associates, MAD Architects, Snøhetta, and Zaha Hadid Architects. Construction of Grieg Quarter is expected to be completed in 2030.

henning larsen kontrapunktvisualizations © KVANT-1



henning larsen to revive bergen’s grieg quarter


With its Kontrapunkt proposal, Henning Larsen envisions a 24,000-square-meter music and conference center bordering Bergen’s historic center. It will house a theater with an orchestra pit, an exhibition venue, a cafe, and multipurpose rehearsal spaces. Importantly, the design also includes a revival of the surrounding Edward Grieg Square.


The Grieg Quarter will serve as an extension to the existing Grieg Hall, originally designed by Danish architect Knud Munk. This collaborative effort aims to elevate Bergen’s artistic identity while preserving the existing building’s character. It embodies the growing trend of urban centers investing in cultural infrastructure to enhance their appeal and fuel progress.

henning larsen kontrapunkt
Grieg Quarter will be a 24,000-square-meter music and conference center



inside the proposed kontrapunkt arts center


Henning Larsen’s new Kontrapunkt concert hall is designed to prioritize the visitor experience. The proposal encourages exploration and fosters a sense of connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. It will accommodate over 1,150 spectators, with additional seating extending over the orchestra pit.


Spread over 3,570 square meters, new exhibition areas will be nestled beneath Edward Grieg’s Square, providing a platform for cultural exploration and interaction. The foyer will integrate into the urban fabric, offering dual access points — from the existing Grieg Hall entrance and a new entryway from the square. A welcoming cafe with a sheltered outdoor space will add to the inviting atmosphere along Strømgaten.


Adjacent to the common areas, a versatile rehearsal room will offer a variety of functions. This space can transform from a rehearsal venue to a space for performances, conferences, and events. Mirroring the dimensions of the main stage, it will seat 140 guests and feature a retractable amphitheater.

henning larsen kontrapunkt
the new arts center will include a theater, exhibition venue, cafe, and rehearsal spaces



With the winning project Kontrapunkt, Grieg Quarter will emerge with an architectural design and functionality that will revitalize Bergen,’ comments Jury Chair Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.This innovative design will not only rejuvenate the expansive area adjacent to Grieg Hall, but also cultivate a dynamic urban hub. Its visually captivating and inclusive layout, coupled with the Music Theater’s exceptional acoustics, will undoubtedly enhance the city’s cultural landscape.’ 
henning larsen celebrates winning 'kontrapunkt' arts center for bergen, norway
the design incorporates a revitalization of the surrounding Edward Grieg Square



Drawing inspiration from Bergen’s proximity to mountains and water, the Grieg Quarter’s outdoor square will feature local flora and a water management plan designed to support the ecosystem and provide a welcoming space for visitors.


Our design focuses on creating a vibrant new urban space with diverse uses,’ says Eva Bergsodden, Division Manager Landscape and landscape architect for Henning Larsen Norway.It will combine daily life with opportunities for outdoor dining and cultural gatherings.’

henning larsen celebrates winning 'kontrapunkt' arts center for bergen, norway
Grieg Quarter will build on Bergen’s artistic legacy while preserving the existing Grieg Hall



We are honored to have won this prestigious competition,’ says Kasper Kyndesen, Partner and Design Director for Henning Larsen Norway.Grieg Quarter will solidify Bergen’s position as a modern and ambitious cultural hub. By creating a welcoming space for both familiar and new experiences, the arts center will unlock immense cultural potential for the city.’


the concert hall will accommodate over 1,150 spectators


project info:


project title: Kontrapunkt at Grieg Quarter 

architecture: Henning Larsen | @henninglarsenarchitects

location: Bergen, Norway

expected completion: 2030/31
area: 24,000 square meters

visualizations: © KVANT-1 | @kvant.1


client: Musikkselskapet Harmonien
architect of record: Charcoal Blue (stage technology), AIX (stage technology), Thornström Brookfield Arkitekter (local architecture)
engineer: Rambøll (services: structural engineer, MEP engineer, lighting, acoustics, traffic/transportation, wind and noise)
indigenous consultant: Schjelderup & Gram (kulturminne)

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