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Danish Radio Concert House

Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Danish Radio Concert House
By Francesco Pagliari -
Targetti, Zumtobel Group have participated in the project

A place of music, the Concert House embodies the affinity between architecture and music. It is also a paradigm for the Jean Nouvel programme: showing how the diverse components making up a construction interrelate and revealing the various planes on which architecture exists - what appears from the outside, what becomes apparent during the journey of discovery through a building, what is imagined and what real. All these aspects, real or perceived, help define a given architectural volume which, as changeable as itself, resonates like a musical instrument to each observer’s viewpoint and experience. Located in an unlovely peripheral suburban landscape of housing estates, commercial centres and office blocks, the building hosts a quality public service facility: the Danish Broadcasting Company’s offices, production and public concert halls. For Nouvel, the architectural solution demanded by such an amorphous setting was “a presence, a building, an identity” that would “give substance to the quarter”; in other words, an architecture on a higher plane than its neighbours, an exceptional urban landmark, the purveyor of a quality public service. The Concert House is based on complex parameters that explore the whole question of a building’s visual and material being and how reality and perception interweave. Nouvel talks of the “mystery” and “seduction” of an architectural programme able to step outside the various schools of thought that have shaped architecture down the ages. Although the external envelope lends the coloured parallelepiped a vapid, immaterial density, the Concert House stands as a solid focal point in an urban setting still in the make. An amalgam of materiality and transparency, the outer cladding appears as a fine gauze fabric, its “watermark” the lights and shapes of the internal glazed façade. Here technology takes on a figurative dimension. The wind-bracing set into the walls of the inner envelope stands out like decorative motifs. It generates...

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