Copenhagen Concert Hall
The Copenhagen Concert Hall (Danish name: DR Koncerthuset) by Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture...

 is a part of the new DR Byen
DR Byen
DR Byen is the headquarter of the Danish national broadcasting corporation , located in Copenhagen, Denmark. The buildings include the Copenhagen Concert Hall by architect Jean Nouvel....

 (DR Town), that houses the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR. The concert hall and the DR Town are located in the northern part of Ørestad
Ørestad is a developing city area in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the island of Amager. It is expected that 20,000 people will live in Ørestad, 20,000 will study, and 80,000 people will be employed in the area...

 - an ambitious development area in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. The concert complex consists of four halls with the main auditorium seating 1,800 people. It serves as the home of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Danish National Symphony Orchestra
The Danish National Symphony Orchestra , is a Danish orchestra based in Copenhagen. The DNSO is the principal orchestra of DR...


The architect

Pritzker Prize
Pritzker Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize is awarded annually by the Hyatt Foundation to honour "a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built...

 winner Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel is a French architect. Nouvel studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was a founding member of Mars 1976 and Syndicat de l'Architecture...

 is the architect of the project. The structure can be likened to a meteor covered by big blue screens, supposed to resemble water, that can be used to project visual content on. Nouvel says on the project:

"Building in emerging neighborhoods is a risk that has often proved fatal in recent years. When there is no built environment upon which to found our work, when we cannot evaluate a neighborhood's future potential, we have to turn the question around: what qualities can we bring to this future? We can respond positively to an uncertainty by using its most positive attribute, that is, mystery. Mystery is never far from seduction. When the surroundings are too neutral we must create a transition, a distance between them, and us, not as a retreat into ourselves, but as a means to establish conditions that will allow a particular territory to blossom. In other words we need to bring value to the context, whatever it may be. For this we must establish a presence, an identity. I propose to materialize the context by creating an exceptional urban building respecting the planned layout of the site. It will be a volume, a mysterious parallelepiped that changes under the light of day and night whose interior can only be guessed at. At night the volume will come alive with images, colors, and lights expressing the life going on inside".

"The interior is a world in itself, complex and diversified. An interior street lined with shops follows the path of the urban canal; a restaurant and bar spill into it. The restaurant is dominated by a covered square, a large empty volume beneath the wooden “scales” cladding the concert hall above. It is a world of contrasts and surprises, a labyrinth, an interior landscape. On one side, the world of musicians, with courtyards and exterior terraces, and vegetation. On the other, Piranesian public spaces link together the different performance halls, the restaurant, and the street. The abstract is invaded by the figurative; the permanent is complemented by the ephemeral. The facades are diaphanous filters permitting views of the city, the canal, and the neighboring architecture. At night these facades become screens for projecting images. The architecture asserts itself through details - doors, lighting, ceilings, and staircases - a testimony of respect for the buildings' visitors, concertgoers, and artists. Each room becomes a discovery, each detail an invention, lessons learned from Theodor Lauritzen and Hans Sharoun whose certain kind of architecture should never be forgotten, and to whom this project is a discrete homage. Architecture is like music; it is made to move and delight us".

Jean Nouvel

Cost overrun

The budget has been expanded several times due to the immense complexity of the project. As of 2007 it had reached almost 300 million dollars making the Copenhagen Concert Hall the most expensive concert hall ever built . The former record holder for cost had been the Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 South Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, California is the fourth hall of the Los Angeles Music Center. Bounded by Hope Street, Grand Avenue, 1st and 2nd Streets, it seats 2,265 people and serves as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and the...

 in Los Angeles at 274 million dollars. The Danish government has refused to grant extra funds for the buildings so, the budget expansion has meant drastic cutbacks in DR staff and funding.


The project has been a front page feature in respected El Croquis magazine N.112/113.

Construction commenced in February 2003. The official opening was celebrated on January 17, 2009, making the total time of construction just a little under 6 years.

The concert hall contains a pipe organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

 with 91 voices, 118 ranks, and approx. 6000 pipes, built by Dutch organ builders J. L. van den Heuvel
J. L. van den Heuvel Orgelbouw
J. L. van den Heuvel Orgelbouw is a firm of pipe organ builders, based in Dordrecht, Holland. The company specialises in the construction of instruments in the French Symphonic tradition.-History of the firm:...



  • Best new public house, 2010 Wallpaper Design Award

External links

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