Location: Andermatt, Switzerland
Scope: Concert Hall
Area: GEA 2,072m2
Budget: 11m CHF
Completion Date: June 2019
Client: Andermatt Swiss Alps & BESIX
Architect: Studio Seilern Architects
Acoustic Consultant: Kahle Acoustics
Theatre Consultant: Ducks Sceno
Structural Engineering: Suisseplan
Landscape Design: Hager
Fire Consultant: AFC
Lighting Design:   MichaelJosefHeusi GmbH
Contractor: BESIX

Photographs: Roland Halbe, Kanipak Photography

This concert hall is located in Andermatt in the Swiss Alps. BESIX and the Andermatt Swiss Alps development is transforming the traditional Swiss Alpine village of Andermatt into one of the world’s finest year-round destinations; boasting some of the best alpine and off-piste skiing facilities in Europe and fast becoming one of Switzerland’s largest resorts.

Andermatt’s new village square will host multiple hotels, residential and chalet facilities, and as part of this new development, Studio Seilern Architects was asked to provide a world-class concert facility to be located at its heart.
The project transforms an existing underground space that was originally intended to be used for conventions and events for the hotels nearby.  Initially, this concrete box with an effective volume of approximately 2,000m3 was primarily intended just for conferences and conventions.

Studio Seilern Architects has proposed to lift a large section of the existing roof to double the effective acoustic volume up to 5,340 m3, increasing the total capacity to able to host 75-piece full symphony orchestra and a total of 663 audience seats. 

Raising the roof gave SSA the opportunity to create a sculptural object within the new village and rethink the traditional notion of a concert hall as closed and inward-looking space. By adding a glass façade, the concert hall is awash with natural light. The romantic idea was that in a winter concert, the audience would be surrounded by a whirlwind of snow, and in the summer surrounded by nature and sunshine. From street level, the acoustic reflectors are seen as floating over an empty space, like a sculpture that has been placed as public art. The passers-by can then see into the concert hall and indeed see an audience and an orchestra from the street, as a spectacle. SSA wanted to make the concert act as an active frontage to the pedestrian street, rather than the usually closed-off box that this building typology offers. 
 Due to the planning parameters of the site, only a portion of the roof could be elevated, making the stage configuration awkward and undesirable. Therefore, a centralised stage concept was adopted to create a symmetrical space, to allow the right early reflections to travel through differing ceiling heights and side balconies. The origami configuration of the interior of the hall was devised with Kahle acoustics to create well balanced natural acoustics. The hall is also equipped with an electro-acoustic system that allows a greater reverberation time to allow louder orchestral ensembles to perform with optimum acoustics within the volume.