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Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe
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The New “House of Music” in Innsbruck

Updated on 11.12.2018 in Architecture

Exterior view with Jesuit Church | Photo Credits: Günther Egger
Exterior view with Jesuit Church | Photo Credits: Günther Egger

By their nature, cultural centers must serve a variety of purposes. But chief among them is to promote a sense of wonder and welcome for its visitors. In the Tirolean capital of Innsbruck, this goal was accomplished with the newly completed “Haus der Musik”.

For centuries, Tirol’s capital was at the heart of European culture. The latest addition to the town’s cultural offer is the brand-new House of Music. Work on the ‘large black building’ began in 2015 and the new cultural center opened its doors to the public in October 2018. The subtle 6,350-square-meter building occupies a prominent downtown site overlooking historic buildings at Innsbruck’s Old Town District. The contemporary building houses a variety of cultural institutions and provides creative space for concerts, theater performances and education programs under one roof.

The wide staircase in the Foyer, where glass, warm and friendly materials and natural daylight impart a feeling of loftiness and openness.The wide staircase in the Foyer, where glass, warm and friendly materials and natural daylight impart a feeling of loftiness and openness.

The glass surfaces of the House of Music reflect the Imperial Palace. The new building sensitively responds to the historical neighboring buildings.The glass surfaces of the House of Music reflect the Imperial Palace. The new building sensitively responds to the historical neighboring buildings.

The “Great Hall” smells of oak and can accommodate up to 500 people. The wood paneling actually yields great acoustics for musical performances, concerts, readings and orchestra rehearsals.The “Great Hall” smells of oak and can accommodate up to 500 people. The wood paneling actually yields great acoustics for musical performances, concerts, readings and orchestra rehearsals.

Between Folklore, Jazz and Classical Music

Managing director Wolfgang Laubichler is driven by the desire to broaden, deepen and diversify participation among audiences and artists. His aim is to develop multi-faceted programming that crosses boundaries between Jazz and classical music, opens up new geographic spaces and depicts folklore in the best sense of the word. “The House of Music has the task and the chance of being an opportunity center—for thinking outside the box and for making unusual and out-of-the-ordinary things happen,” says Laubichler.

Innsbruck’s newest cultural asset is a multi-use facility that offers superb spaces for artists.Innsbruck’s newest cultural asset is a multi-use facility that offers superb spaces for artists.

The proposal by Tirol-based architect Erich Strolz and Untertrifaller Architects from Vorarlberg was the winning entry among 126 projects which applied for the competition.The proposal by Tirol-based architect Erich Strolz and Untertrifaller Architects from Vorarlberg was the winning entry among 126 projects which applied for the competition.

Behind the scenes: Curtain up on the latest in lighting and sound equipment.Behind the scenes: Curtain up on the latest in lighting and sound equipment.

Innovative Architecture

An international architectural competition to identify the best design proposals for the new building was launched and architects from all over Europe were invited. The proposal by Tirol-based architect Erich Strolz and Untertrifaller Architects from Vorarlberg was the winning entry among 126 projects which applied for the competition. Prior to completion, the new building has been attracting some critical comments. Some call it an architectural masterpiece that blends perfectly into the historical surroundings while others complain about the dark color. “The new structure maintains a sensitive and respectful relationship with neighboring, historical buildings,” says architect Much Untertrifaller.

 

Art to sit on: Seating objects by Esther Stocker.Art to sit on: Seating objects by Esther Stocker.

The façade is clad with dark ceramic panels that change its color during the day as the sun is shining from a different angle.The façade is clad with dark ceramic panels that change its color during the day as the sun is shining from a different angle.

The Foyer is furnished with lamps by Werner Feiersinger and an artful sofa by Carola Dertnig.The Foyer is furnished with lamps by Werner Feiersinger and an artful sofa by Carola Dertnig.

The façade is clad with dark, vertically structured ceramic panels. Specifically developed for the House of Music, the panels are partly fixed and partly movable. The façade changes its color from black over eggplant-colored to a reddish brown during the day as the sun is shining from a different angle. Behind the distinctive façade, the glass surfaces of the building reflect the surrounding historical buildings and the forecourt. The stimulating play between transparent and closed, between light and dark continues inside the building that lures visitors to explore and experience its spaces. High ceilings, warm and friendly materials and natural daylight impart a feeling of loftiness and openness in every room, from the concert halls over the library to the on-site restaurant. One thing for sure: Much of what people like and dislike about architecture is a matter of taste, rather like it is the case with arts – there is no argument in favor or against a style except the emotion a person experiences when contacting their philosophy.

Photo Credits: Günther Egger

Serving a Variety of Cultural Purposes Under One Roof

The new House of Music houses ten different cultural institutions, among them the Tyrol Symphony Orchestra, the Mozarteum Academy of Music and Performing Art and the Institute of Musical Sciences of Innsbruck University, the Festival of Early Music, the Tyrol Sängerbund Choir, the Tyrol Brass Music Association, the Tyrol Folk Music Association, the Tyrol Music Academy and the studio theater of the Provincial Theater.

 

 

Having worked overseas for years, Klaus Brunner came back home to explore Tirol with camera and microphone in tow. Home is where your heart is.

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