Architect : Scharoun, Hans
Locality : Berlin
Country : Germany
Building style : Modern architecture (not specified)
Project on the map (green arrow)
“The genius of the design of this building lies in the way it embodies Hans B. Scharoun’s vision: a design of convincing strength and clarity that would place “music at the center.”
The central position of the podium for the orchestra, in the middle of the auditorium, at the heart of the entire building, revolutionized the design of theaters and concert halls throughout the world.
This simple gesture not only swept aside the traditional rigid axial alignment of the seating and the podium; it also opened the space for the community and the arts in a non-perspective form.
The deep orchestra pit is enclosed on all sides by “vineyard terraces”, and in this way Scharoun was able to accomplish the miraculous feat of accommodating 2,218 seats, none of which is more than 32 meters from the source of the music.
The sense of spatial intimacy this creates is heightened acoustically by the “heavenscape of the convex, tent-like suspended ceiling”.
On leaving the concert hall, a new and unexpected spatial situation presents itself. The stairs and galleries cascade down to the central foyer, which is situated beneath the auditorium.
Scharoun planned the Philharmonic from the inside outward. The golden anodized perforated sheet-metal cladding on the facade, which was completed between 1978 and 1981, is evidence of this. There is no show facade to help one understand the external form of the building.
“Scharoun’s achievement lies less in a revolutionary form of architecture than in the way he changed the relationship between people and space.” – Christian Brensing
Thiel-Siling, Sabine (ed): Icons of Architecture. The 20th Century. Prestel-Verlag, Munich, 2005, p. 93.
Ed. Heikki Nikkinen