WHAT architecture - London

Sarajevo Concert Hall

new concert hall development
Scale28000 sqm
LocationSarajevo - Bosnia
ClientCanton di Roma
Design Year1999

Highly commended by jury member Zaha Hadid.


In proposing a civic construction not far from scenes of recent urban destruction, the competition to design a Concert Hall for the city of Sarajevo was lent a degree of absurdity. How could a citizen reconcile the concerted spaces of culture to a daily life transformed into an ordeal of survival?


1:"Milosevic close to conceding says Clinton" Washington Post May 2 1999


2:"No foreign troops in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, ever says Milosevic" Belgrade Blic, May 2 1999. This project employs an architectural strategy of considered ‘conflict'. The history of Concert space is one of extreme interiorisation. Technical specifications have darkened and muted the Outside to isolate and insulate the performance. Yet the blurring of the edges between music and environmental sound is arguably the prominent feature of all twentiethcentury music.


3:"In Satie's theory of Furniture Music - a neutral and utilitarian background for all spaces and all events - the composer is transmuted by the environment". The Concert Hall is thus considered less of a music box, more like a loudspeaker capable of emitting the musics of sound, noise and silence. The project is massed into headline and support spaces to promote conflict between events. Headline spaces include small and large auditoria (Tweeter and Woofer), Foyer, café and are framed by three ‘parathesized’ slabs. The Tweeter sits inside the Woofer auditorium. Support spaces include services, circulation, rehersal and storage stacked into an 8 equi-level stanza.


4" To get to the headlines you first need to experience the supporting events". Found sounds arranged along the passage to the auditoria include speaking statues, elevator muzak, orchestrated mobile phones and rehearsing players; chatter from the café can be heard by intermission smokers on eavesdropper balconies. Beyond the Foyer, craters working as acoustic voids provide silent spaces to allow lunchtime performances and echo the once devastated terrain. Outside the Hall, the city offers itself as pre-performance entertainment. Furthermore one can see from one auditoria into another via small circular floor windows. The lesser seats of the auditorium now rise in value as they are afforded other, simultaneous views to the auditoria and foyer below. These seats are also wired with headsets.


5:" Cheapest seats in the House now with extra views - see and hear both performances at once!