Caracas Symphony / ADJKM

Courtesy of ADJKM

In the public competition for the preliminary design of the Simon Bolivar International Complex for Social Action through Music and its surrounding urban area, ADJKM shared with us their first prize proposal which is scheduled to be construction this year and finished by 2016 in Caracas, Venezuela. More images and architect’s description after the break.

The project:

interior 01

The objective is to create an urban space as a social bond in a dense cultural program. This fragment gap divides the building into two units by means of a horizontal fracture that opens the view on the Los Caobos Park and incorporates the notion of landscape to the project. It is a meeting place for visitors and users. This space connects the music conservatory, a compact block anchored to the ground, and the concert hall, a light block suspended as a precious levitated object over the park. The silhouette takes the poetic symbolism of the tree: the musical knowledge starts at the root of the project and the creative genesis arises at the top through the artistic talent of musicians

The overall organization of the project is by horizontal layers. In the basement (-22.50.00 to -12.60), three levels of parking are reserved for users of the complex different programs. The pedestrian entrance to CIASMSB is common for users and visitors, to better monitor the safety of the building. The project is organized at the atrium (00.00) around a central core of distribution. Viewers have access to concert halls escalators through the central axis of the building; musicians access to the conservatory through the children pole on one side and the juvenile pole on the other side. At the lower level (-12.60 to 5.65), four stages are used to distribute the music conservatory, with links between the different poles of education. The intermediate zone (5.65 to 15.60) is a vast place, a place of confluence of young artists with the public. It includes restaurants, public spaces, residency area, improvised concert scenes and stands. At the top level (15.60 to 38.00), three levels are used to distribute the concert halls, as well as the foyers, located north for the musicians with a view of the Avila Mountain, and south for visitors with a view to Los Caobos Park. The roof is a technical level, including a single stage design grill for the common management of both concert halls.

interior 02

The concert hall is an instrument of communication. Closeness between audience and musicians is part of the CIASMSB project idea. For this reason, the shape of the halls is a hybrid between the “Shoebox” and “Vineyard”, where good visibility and the finest acoustics are obtained. The shapes of the rooms have been especially designed to build in a style unique to the Venezuelan artisanal creations.The three concert halls (1700 -1300 – 500 seats) are treated differently to obtain multiple acoustics and to respond to the specificity of different orchestras. The large concert hall of 1700 seats has an international vocation, it can respond to a program with numerous modular spaces in special events. The concert hall of 1300 seats favors singers and sets the scene in the heart of the room. The seats of the choir can be attributed to the spectators.

interior 03

The flux are organized according to three types of users: musicians / technicians / audience. Area limits dissociates the professional and the public space. The quality of logistics is determined by the simplicity of its organization.


The structure consists of a concrete base (the music conservatory) in which are embedded eight pillars supporting the concert halls, whose structure is a mixture of concrete and steel. These pillars include emergency exits. The upper facade is held by aluminum elements, creating its kinetic rhythm. The building is subjected to local anti-seismic constraints.

plan 01

Raw Materials are used in the outside while rehearsal rooms and the concert halls are made of wood. The horizontal fracture allows the lighting and ventilation of the complex, adding value to the public space: a vector of social conditions and human relations. Between day and night, the contrast ratios full/empty, shadows/lights are reversed.

plan 02

The Program

plan 03

The competition was organized by The FESNOJIV, a government-funded organization aimed at systematizing music education and promoting the collective practice of music through symphony orchestras and chorus as a means of social organization and communitarian development, and the CAF (Andean Development Corporation) a financial institution that supports sustainable development and regional integration in Latin America. Results were published in July 2010. The proposals were evaluated by an international jury composed of José Antonio Abreu, director of the FESNOJIV, Yasuhisa Toyota, the Japanese acoustician, Iñaki Abalos, Spanish architect, Anita de la Rosa, landscape architect, Lorenzo González Casas, urban planner architect, Eduardo Guzmán, representing the Libertador Town Hall and Omar Seijas, vice-president of the Colegio de Arquitectos de Venezuela. Substitute members of the jury were: Pedro Franco, architect and Paola Posani, representing the Libertador Town Hall.

The FESNOJIV is internationally recognized as a unique and distinguished program based on the social characteristics of musical training, thus contributing to the development of potential future for the children of Venezuela and Latin America. By promoting cultural development, the Foundation raises the hope of social and professional integration. The competition, jointly organized by CAF and FESNOJIV, consists in the design of the International Complex for Social Action through Music Simón Bolívar. This symphonic complex will complement the existing complex located in the Amador Bendayán Boulevard, along the northern boundary of Los Caobos Park, in the cultural center of Caracas.

longitudinal section

The CIASMSB consists of two units: a music conservatory and the concert halls. The conservatory includes classrooms, large rehearsal rooms and individual rehearsal cubicles. The modular concert halls consist of a first hall of 1700 seats (200 singers) and another hall of 1300 seats (400 singers). A third room with 500 seats shares functions between concerts and rehearsals. The remaining program includes administration, musicians’ residencies, restaurant and cafeteria, media center, and parking areas. The total constructed area is over 36000m ².

transverse section

Architects: adjkm Principals: Alejandro Méndez, Daniel Otero, Jean-Marc Rio, Khristian Ceballos, Mawarí Núñez. Client: FESNOJIV (State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela) Acoustics: Khale Acoustics. Scenography: Ducks Scéno. Structure: Andrés Otero — AEO Proyectos. Concert Hall Images: Rodolphe Rodier, Gael Nys – RSI Studio. Contributors: José Castillo, Gabriel Castro, Nicolás Delevaux, Yuan Jiang, Gilles Lefevre, Sophie Merle, Panovi Núñez, Jorge Núñez, Javier Otero, Gregoire Plasson, Bertrand Reunaudin, Paulo Rezende. Program: 3 modular concert halls of 1700, 1300 and 500 seats. One of which is adjustable up to receive 400 musicians. Music conservatory: Rehearsal rooms, classrooms. Restaurant

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About this author
Cite: Alison Furuto. "Caracas Symphony / ADJKM" 13 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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