House of Music / Coop Himmelb(l)au


Coop Himmelb(l)au’s House of Music in , Denmark is a  shared hybrid space that becomes a center of inspiration, “both of the shared-synergetic behavior and of the form and expression of the architecture..” Cultural and educational functions are interspersed between shared public and performance spaces, creating a network of interaction among the public, artists, students and educators.  Situated in a dynamic urban grid, the House of Music becomes a full extension of the  city, linking the character of the city with the new opportunities the Music Hall provides.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

“The House of Music is organized around the concept of sharing and synergy, while recognizing the need for independence of the individual institutions within. Wherever possible sharing of spaces is enabled and overlapping of use of public and performance spaces is supported through the design,” explained the architects.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

The educational facilities are located in a two-level U-shaped courtyard building.  This “Educational U” is raised up above the back of house base creating a horizontal void which is then programmed with shared functions.  This middle “interchange level” is seen as an extension of the main public foyer where views into the auditorium and views out to the city can be experienced.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

The core of the U-shaped block of music, is a 1,300 seat symphonic concert hall.  This modified shoebox design of the concert hall creates an optimal balance of acoustics, sight-lines and closeness to the stage for the audience.   At first, the concert hall appears as a monolithic form with natural materials and colors, however upon entering the auditorium, the user experiences the the fluid curvilinear geometries of  the space.  This different architectural language “lends a special theatrical sense of atmosphere to the space.”

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

The main foyer utilizes natural ventilation for fresh air with low-level operable windows for intake and high-level operable windows and vents for exhaust. The system uses the natural thermal buoyancy of the tall vertical space to move the air, rather than electrical fans. The floor design employs a water filled radiant concrete slab used both for heating in winter and cooling in summer.  The concrete walls around the Concert Hall are used as thermal mass to store energy.   In addition, the south facing façade of the Educational U building utilizes a two layer façade that provides both shading and generates electrical power harvested for building use through thin-film photovoltaic technology.

© Coop Himmelb(l)au
P_0701_P05 level 3
© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

© Coop Himmelb(l)au

P_0701_P10 section 1
© Coop Himmelb(l)au
© Coop Himmelb(l)au

Credits: House of music II project team Planning COOP HIMMELB(L)AU Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Design Principal/ CEO Wolf D. Prix

Project Partner Michael Volk
Project Architect Marcelo Bernardi, Pete Rose
Design Architect Luzie Giencke
Design architect – interior Eva Wolf
CAD coordinator Ronny Böser
Project Team Benjamin Schmidt, Philip Wilck, Ariane Marx, Markus Baumann, Ivana Jug, Anna Wasserthal, Talya Kozminsky, Blaine Lepp, Robin Heather, Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Stephanie Neufeld, Tyler Bornstein, Elisabeth Keane
3D Visualization Armin Hess/ Isochrom, Vienna Silkroad, Beijing, China Jens Mehlan, Jörg Hugo
Photography Markus Pillhofer
Client North Jutland House of Music Foundation, Aalborg, Denmark
Local Architects Friis & Moltke, Aalborg, Denmark
Landscape Architect Jeppe Aagaard Andersen, Helsingør, Denmark
Structural Engineering Rambøll, Aalborg, Denmark B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt, Germany
Mechanical, Electrical and Fire
Engineering Nirás, Aalborg, Denmark
Acoustical and Theater Consultant Artec Consultants Inc, New York, USA
Cost consultant Davis Langdon LLP, London, England

Project Data

Net Area 10,910 m²
Gross Area 17,744 m²
Competition (1st prize) 2003
Start of Planning HoM II: Feb.2008

House of Music I Project team

2002 – 2007
Design Principal, Ceo Wolf D. Prix
Project Partner Michael Volk
Design Architect Andrea Graser
Project Architect Oliver Sachse
Project Team Marcelo Bernardi, Jesper Bork, Bo Stjerne Hansen, Roberta Jiraschek, Daniel Krüger, Carsten Laursen, Martin Oberascher, Florian Pfeifer, Robert Pippan, Marita Schnepper, Sigrid Svensson, Eva Wolf, Carola Böker, Moa Carlson, Isak Foged, Annina Gähwiler, Patricia Gola, Robin Heather, Per Kruse, Win Man, Ruth Mandl, Aline Müller, Tenna Olsen, Anke Pasolt, Annemarie Pedersen, Eva Ravnborg, Carolin Schmitz-Remberg, Tim Seidl, Guro Sollid, Michele Zanella, Jan-Ruben Fischer, Hannes Walzl, Morten Grau Jensen
Competition Team Karolin Schmidbaur, Michael Volk Ian Collins, Joseph Chang, Gavin Farley, Sophie Grell, Georg Kolmayr, James Lowder, Eric Young, Jorge Avila, Jesse Blankenship, Rodrigo Chávez, Catherine Garrison, Sergio Gonzalez, Debi VanZyl
Photography Markus Pillhofer
3d Visualization Armin Hess/Isochrom, Matthias Ecker, Stefan Laub

Cite: "House of Music / Coop Himmelb(l)au" 21 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • nonono

    It doesn’t look like Coop’s design

  • The Straight Torquer

    I don’t like the round windows. Too bubbly and random. Coop does better with angular perspectival warping deconstructivist forms. The circles look too playful and pomo.

  • Dove

    hahahah! porno windows! great comment! haha
    i agree though, the round windows look too much like portholes

  • frank Wilson

    Can we really trace a line between reality and meaningless potpourri architecture?

    • JohnP

      sorry, what does that mean & what is a “meaningless potpourri architecture” ?!

  • sullka

    where’s the inverted twisted cone?…it’s not COOP HIMMELB(L)AU without an inverted twisted cone.

  • that’s what she

    so this guy can’t pick just ONE IDEA… this looks like 97,528 different concepts and languages….hideous!

  • sun_milk

    worst coop h. project that i’ve ever seen. :(

  • Mimi

    I love this project. Think, it’s a great idea of modern architecture.
    Will go and visit the HOM as soon as it’ll be finished.

  • John

    Complex Diversity!…don’t be boring guys!…this proposal is a result of a living ‘n dynamic design-process for a new cultural urbanism in Aalborg…It#’ s JAZZ ;)

  • John

    I love this project. Think, it’s a great idea of modern architecture.
    Will go and visit the HOM as soon as it’ll be finished.

    • nono_34

      ok…here is something wrong :( …but don’t hesitate ;)

  • Mimi.

    I love this project. Think, it’s a great idea of modern architecture.
    Will go and visit the HOM as soon as it’ll be finished…

  • Mimi.

    Complex Diversity!…don’t be boring guys!…this proposal is a result of a living ‘n dynamic design process for a new cultural urbanism in Aalborg…it’s JAZZ! ;)

    • nono_34

      ok ok..stop now ;)

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  • ati

    hi freinds
    why u are so angry about this project?!
    i think that’s good because this is our future

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  • Niels Kristensen

    Maybe the layout is a great solution to a complicated brief, and maybe the acoustics are great, this we will learn when the building is 5-10 years old. As a landmark, I have to say, growing up in Aa, I am not to impressed… very complicated building.

  • mark soundr

    where’s Wolf D Prix design technologies here as usual??