Popstage Mezz Breda
As part of the urban development scheme for the abandoned military campus ‘Chassée’ in Breda, designed by the Office of Metropolitan Architecture, the former officers’ Mess hall will be converted into a venue for Breda’s many lovers of pop music. Located at the southwest corner of the site, the quality of this building, dating from 1899, is centered on the inner area of the former barracks grounds. The extension, placed on the other side of the old mess hall, accommodates the concert hall and foyer. The extension is shaped like a voluptuous seashell adjoining the existing structure. Where the old and new buildings join, an opening is created. Here a connection is provided between the foyer of the auditorium and the cafe inside the old building. The shell shape leaves the independence of the old building unaffected yet makes the new music hall clearly visible from the ‘entertainment zone’ of Breda. Seen from the future residential complex on the military campus, the presence of the new building is only seen slumbering behind the pitched roof of the old officers’ mess. In order to meet the strict acoustic requirements for pop concerts, the shell is formed as a complete double dome with, as in many old churches, an air gap of one meter between the two shells. The inner shell is designed to narrow the auditorium in perspective towards the stage. This shell is, for acoustical reasons, completely closed and is made of plywood and insulation material. The entire structure is hung onto the outer shell.  The outer shell is contoured relative to the inner shell; it’s shape being determined by the inner shell and the volumes that are required for the dock shelter and plant room. The skeleton of the outer shell is a hybrid structure of steel and concrete that for acoustic reasons is covered by 100 mm of poured concrete and a pre-oxidized copper skin. All entrances in the new extension are hidden in the skin of the outer shell. Only when the entrances are open to the public does the shell reveal its accessibility. The 3 by 4-meter steel frame door of the dock shelter will open in a dramatic way like a ferryboat.


13 photos and 13 drawings