Ennead: Holland Performing Arts Center
This is one in a series of books, each of which tells the story of a single building. It is our hope that as these books accumulate alongside our body of work, they, in their aggregate, will form a profile of our design intentions. - Ennead Architects
SHAPING THE CONCERT HALL
At the beginning of the design process, owners, user groups, architects, acousticians, and theater consultants initiated a discussion to define the ideal shape for a new 2,000 seat concert hall. That the hall was intended to support a great range of music and audience types was a critical piece of the dialogue. We determined that a classical "shoebox," modified to suit modern needs, would provide both flexibility and the highest standards of performance. The "shoebox" form is essentially a tall narrow room in which musicians face a large orchestra-level seating area and two or more balconies. It is exemplified by the great European halls of the 19th century, such as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Neue Gewandhaus in Leipzig, and the Concertgebeow in Amsterdam, which have been widely imitated throughout the world.