NL architects’ floating pandora hall completed in utrecht music center
photo © luuk kramer
all images courtesy of NL architects

 

 

 

the recently opened ‘tivoli vredenburg‘ music center unites disparate concert halls, designed by separate architecture offices, into one structure for shows of a range of genres including jazz, pop, classical, metal, EDM, and more. within the overall framework, NL architects has contributed a formally complex and seemingly floating performance space dubbed ‘pandora’. its geometry morphs to link the central concert area to other parts of the building while also extending to the exterior façade for views outward to the surrounding city – utrecht, the netherlands.

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

the ‘pandora’ hall’s form extends to the overall building’s curtain wall to frame views of the surrounding city
photo © luuk kramer

 

 

 

the ‘tivoli vredenburg’, or ‘muziekpaleis’, builds upon an existing concert hall and is part of a larger project aimed at renovating the city’s station area. the overall structure was designed by architectuurstudio HH, who also conceived one of the four new performance halls while inviting aTA, jo coenen, and NL architects to envision the other three. with diverse spaces planned for a wide range of music types, the facility aims to unite different social groups.

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

the complex shape seemingly floats while supported by slender columns
photo © luuk kramer

 

 

 

the ‘pandora’ hall is intended to accommodate a mixture of performances, from dance parties to stand-up comedy, as well as fashions shows, product presentations, and congresses. it also functions as a ‘safety valve’ in service of other venues when in need of extra capacity. the flexible hall is complemented by a spacious foyer, and features a non-fixed stage and seating for configurations of 400-600 spectators. a skylight is included above the flat central area to provide illumination during the day. beyond this multipurpose space, the ‘muziekpaleis’ includes an existing symphony hall, a 2000 person space for pop concerts, a jazz auditorium, and a room for chamber music.

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

photo © luuk kramer

 

 

 

‘pandora’ is centered around a central box containing the performance space. a layer surrounding this volume creates a cavity, which serves for acoustical insulation. the sweeping-geometry extensions that make up the form accommodate seating, a bar, circulation, a skylight, connection to the jazz hall, and a foyer beneath that links with the chamber music room. the mass is composed of a steel framework clad in plasterboard, with a polyurethane finish painted in white.

 

see here for more design images of the project in designboom’s initial feature at the beginning of construction. 

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

the ‘tivoli vredenburg’ music center unites four concert halls designed by separate architects
photo © luuk kramer

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

a foyer area is suspended beneath the central performance hall
photo © luuk kramer

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

the space extends outward to provide a view of utrecht
photo © luuk kramer

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

the internal hall is intended to host a mixture of performance events, including music, dance, comedy, and more
photo © luuk kramer

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

seating areas, stage, and a bar extend from the open floor area
photo © luuk kramer

NL architects pandora tivoli vredenburg muziekpaleis utrecht designboom

the surfaces are treated with a deep purple, while a skylight projects upward
photo © luuk kramer

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

dates: 
2005 (design), 2014 (

completion)
client: muziekcentrum vredenburg, tivoli, SJU, ontwikkelingsbedrijf gemeente utrecht
masterplan + coordination: architectuurstudio HH
NL architects: pieter bannenberg, walter van dijk, kamiel klaasse
contractor: heijmans bouw
photography: luuk kramer

 

collaborators

preliminary design: sören grünert, kirsten hüsig, thomas scherzer, 
marc dahmen, gerbrand van oostveen
definitive design: michael schoner, wim sjerps, martijn stoffels
contract drawings: michael schoner, bobby de graaf, stephan schuelecke, florent le corre, jung-hwa cho
working drawings: michael schoner, bobby de graaf, lorena valero miñano, inés quinteiro antolin

 

consultants

structural: ingenieursbureau zonneveld
mechanical: ingenieursburo linssen, 
building physics and acoustics: DHV
project management: samenwerkings partners SMP, OGU/VGM ontwikkelingsbedrijf en vastgoedmanagement utrecht
cost management: BBN
lighting and audio design: team projects