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The proposal for the Koningin Elisabethzaal required significant acoustical improvement of the concert hall, upgrading the spaces surrounding the concert hall and building a new addition with practice rooms, offices and a loading dock. Located next to Antwerp Central Station, the zoo and the Koningin Astridplein, the design makes use of the urbanistic and thematic opportunities that these spaces offer to the renovation, redesign and transformation of the Elisabethzaal complex.

The lobby serves as an important Public Hall, acting as a hinge-point between the Koningin Astridplein, the Diamond Museum, deFilharmonie Addition, the Building services, and the Antwerp Zoo alongside where many of the historic Halls are aligned. It has suffered from a variety of features that would need to be altered in order to serve the occasion of the Symphony in a decorous and civic manner; our task has been to meticulously analyze and offer strategic alterations to this space. 

Among the many challenges of this project, maybe the most critical is the redesign of the Elisabethzaal, whose acoustic performance is average at best in its current state. We have provided the ideal volume for the number of seats, correcting the ratio between height and width by narrowing the hall, establishing the right height of the ceiling by jacking up the existing truss. The increase in surface area will enable a more effective transmission of loudness and envelopment. Effectively the Elisabethzaal is transformed into the shoe-box typology in the tradition of classical concert halls of Boston, Amsterdam and Vienna. Next we borrow from the Zoo by bringing into the Elisabethzaal a range of species, transforming the hall of music into a Cabinet of Curiosities.

The expansion of the Elisabethzaal will be essential for the complex to function as a world class institution. Located on Carnotstraat, the expansion has its own address and identity among a series of building on this shopping street. Structured by a party wall organization, the zoning restrictions of the building –setbacks and height—essentially organize the building with few maneuvering possibilities.

Principal in Charge: Nader Tehrani
Design Principal: Monica Ponce de Leon,
Project Architect: Dan Gallagher
Project Coordinator: Remon Alberts
Design Team: Lisa Huang, Arthur Chang, Richard Lee, Harry Lowd, Melissa Harlan, Jeff Dee, Sarah Dunbar, Jonathan Palazzolo, Suzy Costello, Masoud Akbarzadeh, Natsuki Maeda, Sulaiman Albader, Abrar El-Ebrahim, Abdulwahab Almazeedi, Wadha Al-Massad, Ebrahim Alwadhi

Local Architect: Bureau Bouwtechniek, Antwerp

Click here to download project PDF.


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