Uppsala Concert & Congress Hall

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Uppsala Concert & Congress Hall
UPPSALA CONCERT AND CONGRESS HALL The competition proposal for Uppsala Concert & Congress Hall received first prize among 134 proposals from all over the world. Designed as an identity creating building in the new part of the city, Uppsala’s new concert and congress hall elegantly interplays with the historical surroundings of Uppsala. The building constitutes an important cultural landmark in Uppsala, offering a new modern chapter to the story of Uppsala city. With its reflecting metallic façades the building appears as a large, split crystal. The vertical cleft in the building provides the public with access from two sides - from the old historical town and from the modern and vibrant Vaksala Square. The horizontal cleft at the top of the building offers a magnificent panoramic view of Uppsala, which is dominated by the castle, cathedral and university library. The 37 metre-high concert and conference hall comprises approx. 14,600 square metres covering a total of eight levels including the basement. The building houses exhibition areas and three concert halls. All public spaces of the building are grouped around the arrival hall’s vertical cleft and can all be reached from the centrally located escalators. On the arrival level (level 2) there is an exhibition and banquet hall that holds up to 600 guests. Here, there is also a large open café with a south oriented terrace. The long red escalators connect the various foyer areas leading the visitors from the arrival hall up to level 3, where they are met by a magnificent view of Vaksala Square. In connection to the foyer, level 3 comprises a hall with room for 350 people for conference and music and a hall for 100 people for larger meetings. From level 3, the escalators continue in a spectacular continuous length of more than three floors up to the grand Hall’s foyer on level 6, which offers a unique panoramic view of Uppsala’s rooftops and historical skyline. The grand hall is the largest and most important room in the building seating up to 1150 guests from stalls to balcony. With its sublime acoustics and technical flexibility, the hall is designed for a large and versatile repertoire spanning from large symphony orchestra concerts to modern hip hop and jazz. The grand hall’s audience seating rises from the stage plane on level 5 all the way to the rearmost balcony on level 8. Level 3, 4 and 5 mainly comprise offices, rehearsal halls, storage rooms, boxes, stage entrance and backstage areas. Additionally, level 7 comprises a separate conference room. The new concert and congress hall is a modern and dynamic house. It has its own impressive characteristics but is designed with respect to and in interplay with the other significant buildings in Uppsala. The architectural language and expression is modern and contemporary and in the same time the design of the interior offers a new perspective on Uppsala city and its beautiful historical monuments. In the ‘horizontal slit of light’ which is the large foyer of the hall, the residents of Uppsala and their guests walks around in the hall on a higher level than the surrounding roofs of the city – a visual prelude and accompaniment to the following musical experience. The concert and congress hall is a house for everyone. Amongst other, it offers experiences and room for lunch guests, seminar participants, speakers, conference participants, musicians, actors and ballet dancers. The open and flexible physical surroundings are an important trait that enables a continuous renewal of activities and events in the house. The volume of the building raises as a part of the unique silhouette of Uppsala and a slender design that makes space for cafés, small shops, bicycle parking and seating areas on the square in front of the house. Inside the building, the last passage of the foyer offers visitors an amazing view of the unique silhouette with the Cathedral, Caroline Rediva and Uppsala Castle. This gives the visitor a feeling of an impressive fusion between the concert hall and the surroundings of Uppsala city. For a long time, the musical life of Uppsala has lacked a unifying cultural scene, where the many orchestras, choirs and music groups of the city can meet. Today, Uppsala concert and congress hall offers endless opportunities as to the musical and cultural exploitation, and will be a strong cultural gathering point for the citizens of Uppsala as well as visitors from other countries. FACTS Uppsala Concert & Congress Hall Location: Uppsala, Sweden Client: City of Uppsala Construction period: 2004-2007 Gross floor area: 14,600 m2 Type of assignment: 1st prize in open international competition


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