The project was conceived as a celebration of the birthplace of Beethoven, establishing an architectural link between the city’s cultural history and the beauty of its natural setting along the banks of the River Rhine. The project proposes a Beethoven Plateau, which would connect the cultural institutions along the section of river known as Museum Mile with a large urban park, designed in collaboration with landscape architect James Corner’s Field Operations.
The project is organized around three major spaces: the Concert Hall, the Recital and Rehearsal Hall, and the Public Foyer. The Concert Hall, which is both the physical and conceptual heart of the project, follows an acoustic plan developed by world-renowned acoustician Larry Kierkegaard. The basic interior shape of the hall draws on the “shoebox” configuration of the best-loved traditional halls, particularly Vienna’s Musikverein, but the layout is sculpted to create a more intimate feeling in plan and section. Overall, the shape of the room is designed to provide a wealth of supportive sound reflections to all the seats in the hall while developing reverberation that every audience member will be able to experience.
A central atrium space acts as a connector between the building, the park, and the esplanade along the Rhine. The main floor of the atrium draws visitors from the main entrance through the building by offering a stunning view of the Rhine from the expansive glass wall of its east facade, while the atrium’s lower level provides an entrance to the building for visitors coming from the riverfront.