a brand new concert hall has opened in andermatt, a village in the ursern valley in the swiss alps. designed to establish the community as an important cultural destination, the 650-seat ‘andermatt concert hall’ features a flexible stage capable of incorporating a 75-piece orchestra. conceived by studio seilern architects, the project transforms an existing underground space that was originally intended to be used for conventions and events for the hotels nearby.

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe (also main image)

 

 

studio seilern architects, led by christina seilern, proposed to lift a large section of the space’s previously existing roof to double the effective acoustic volume up to 5,340 m3. this gesture allows the venue to appear as a visible sculptural object that forms part of andermatt’s new village square. meanwhile, the addition of the glass façade allows passersby to see into the space and ensures that the concert hall is filled with natural light.

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

 

 

‘the romantic idea was that in a winter concert, the audience would be surrounded by a whirlwind of snow, and in the summer surrounded by nature and sunshine,’ explains the design team. from street level, the acoustic reflectors are seen as floating over an empty space, like a sculpture that has been placed as public art.

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

 

 

‘due to the planning parameters of the site, only a portion of the roof could be elevated, making the stage configuration awkward and undesirable,’ continue the architects. ‘therefore, a centralized stage concept was adopted to create a symmetrical space, to allow the right early reflections to travel through differing ceiling heights and side balconies.’

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

 

 

‘when I was a university student in berlin, I lived 100 meters from the philharmonie and sat in the back of hundreds of concerts by the berliner philharmoniker and herbert von karajan,’ comments samih sawiris, chairman of andermatt swiss alps — the developer behind the project. ‘to have that orchestra open our fantastic new hall is the realization of a 30-year-old dream. as an art form, classical music is at a crossroads and needs more encouragement than ever.’

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

 

 

‘this was a whirlwind of a project where we turned what was to initially be a conference room into a ‘proper grown up concert hall’ for musicians of the highest caliber,’ explains christina seilern. ‘audiences can experience everything from solo recitals to full orchestral concerts in equal intimacy and comfort in this exceptional, light-filled space. I have to thank samih who put his full trust in us to deliver what we hope will be a magnificent cultural venue for generations to come.’

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

studio seilern andermatt concert hall
image © roland halbe

 

 

project info:

 

name: andermatt concert hall
area: GEA 2,072m2
budget: 11m CHF
project: 2017-2019
construction: 2018-2019
location: andermatt, switzerland
client: andermatt swiss alps & BESIX
architect: studio seilern architects
project team: christina seilern, marcos velasco, alberto favaro, brigitta hadju, jonathan wrynne, ruby law, tasos theodorakakis, hana potisk, sonia theodosiadi, enrique pujana
acoustic consultant: kahle acoustics
theatre consultant: ducks sceno
structural engineering: suisseplan
MEP: BESIX
landscape design: hager
fire consultant: AFC
lighting design: MICHAELJOSEFHEUSI GmbH
contractor: BESIX
fixed seats: figueras
retractable tribune: figueras
acrylic foyer wall: seen and acrylic couture
lighting: iguzzini
mobile bar: g’reck
door handles: glutz and salto
glass façade: ruch