Amsterdam's Glass Music Hall Faces Demolition, Seeks Home

Amsterdam's Glass Music Hall Faces Demolition, Seeks Home
Courtesy of Octatube
Courtesy of Octatube

A mere twenty-five years after its inauguration, the Glass Music Hall at the former Exchange of Berlage in Amsterdam is looking for a new home, where it will be relocated and reassembled for free. The innovative space, originally designed for the Dutch Chamber Music Orchestra, has garnered international attention and multiple awards, but sadly no longer meets the needs of the facility.

Designed by architect Pieter Zaanen and structural designer Mick Eekhout, the Glass Music Hall sits in the center of an existing space, defying stereotypes about what glass can do. Being a hard material, the reverberation time in a blunt glass hall would be approximately 5 seconds. However, this number was brought down to 1 or 2 seconds in this instance, proving glass can be used to create a fantastical acoustical environment.

The structural characteristics of the Glass Music Hall are also special. The lower glass panels are suspended via bolted nodes and a tensile truss made out of thin steel rods, which is attached to the upper glass panels and roof, making the entire structure very resistant to horizontal forces. Zaanen and Eekhout originally feared the thin steel rods might not withstand the test of time, but they have.

Courtesy of Octatube
Courtesy of Octatube

In the video below, Eekhout affectionately refers to the experimental structure as one of his "design babies." With demolition set to take place at the end of the month, he hopes the disassembled hall will soon find a nearby home. The hall can house up to 200 seats and is 10 meters high, 13 meters wide, and 22 meters long. Have any ideas? Let us know in the comments below. 

About this author
Cite: Jennifer Whelan. "Amsterdam's Glass Music Hall Faces Demolition, Seeks Home" 09 Jul 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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