Designs unveiled for Beethoven Festspielhaus concert hall

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kadawittfeldarchitektur's design for the concert hall (Image: Beethoven Festspielhaus)

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The year 2020 marks 250 years since Ludwig van Beethoven was born, with 2027 marking the 200th anniversary of his death. To honor these milestones, a plan is afoot to build a new concert hall in the composer's home town of Bonn, Germany. Following an international architectural competition, three potential designs, by David Chipperfield Architects, kadawittfeldarchitektur and Valentiny hvp architects, remain.

The new concert hall will be located on the shores of the Rhine, near to the existing Beethovenhalle concert hall. Details are still thin on the ground at this stage, but we do know that the project is privately funded and that the organizers will be seeking investors.

Deutsche Post DHL has already pledged €30 million (roughly US$37 million) towards construction costs, and Germany's federal government also pledged €39 million (roughly $48 million). The winning design will be chosen in early 2015.

London's David Chipperfield Architects' submission is a muscular four-story structure of stacked rectangular concrete forms, with a glass facade. The building also sports rooftop terraces that allow visitors to take in the view of the Rhine and enjoy an outdoor performance, while inside there's an impressive walnut veneer concert hall.

Aachen, Germany-based kadawittfeldarchitektur seeks to produce a rising and flowing curvilinear building. The complex shape would be realized by using reinforced concrete and steel trusses, with a natural stone facade. Inside, an appealing wooden concert hall features multiple balconies.

Luxembourg's Valentiny hvp architects has produced a design for a flowing wave-like structure. The concert hall features a concrete and plaster exterior, and a flexible interior which sees the orchestra pit shifted further into the room. The concert hall ceiling can also be lowered if required to improve acoustics when performing to smaller audiences.

Several other well-known architecture firms also submitted proposals that didn't make the final shortlist, including Zaha Hadid, gmp, Jahn, and Snøhetta. The organizers hope that the concert hall will open its doors by 2019, in good time for Beethoven's 250th birthday celebrations.

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