Ventspils Regional Music School and Concert Hall

haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050
29. September 2020
Photo: Adam Mørk

Music in its many different forms plays an essential role in Latvian culture, lending communities distinct identities and serving as an important source of civic pride. The new music school and concert hall is the centerpiece of the long-term program of urban rejuvenation in the Baltic port of Ventspils.

Project: Ventspils Regional Music School and Concert Hall, 2019
Location: Ventspils, Latvia
Architect: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050, Stuttgart
  • Partner in Charge: David Cook
Local Architect: Studio MSV, Riga, Latvia
Structural Engineering: schlaich bergermann partner, Stuttgart; SIA BKB, Riga, Latvia
Acoustician: Müller-BBM, München
Organ Consultant: Johannes Klais Orgelbau, Bonn
Energy / Climate Engineering: Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Stuttgart
Mechanical Services Engineering: SIA Friteks, Riga, Latvia; SIA Arche, Riga, Latvia
Electrical Engineering: SIA FIMA, Riga, Latvia
Architectural Lighting: LDE Belzner Holmes, Stuttgart
Stage Engineering: DTP Theaterbühnentechnik, Dresden
Stage Lighting / Sound Systems
Fire Engineering: SIA Glamma, Riga, Latvia
Water / Drainage Engineering: SIA IP, Ventspils, Latvia
Cost Consultants: SIA Northproject, Riga, Latvia
Gross Floor Area: 8,000 m2
Photo: Adam Mørk

The project serves as an essential part of a new urban landscape, transforming Lielais laukums — a long-neglected park — into a vibrant focal point for the region of Kurzeme. This landscape is defined by a highly modulated topography. Slopes, cuts and intersecting planes define the character of the park, lending scale and providing for a range of visitor amenities. The transformed park with its central plaza, gardens and water features enrich the visitors experience and provide a fitting backdrop to the striking forms of the new building. The park is bounded by well-established trees, providing a framework to the entire project.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk
The Music School and Concert Hall

The new music school promotes excellence in both the teaching and performance of a wide range of music. The project offers a wide range of performance spaces accessible to the public, with a classical concert hall seating 600, complemented by a smaller black-box theatre, a music library, and an outdoor stage and amphitheater. Extensive classrooms and backstage facilities are housed over three floors.

The highly distinctive roof shelters a range of spaces, both indoor and out, from the extremes of the weather and lends the building an immediate recognizable appearance. The exposed nature of the site dictates that the building is considered as a free-standing object that addresses both the central square and the surrounding streets: it therefore has no rear facade.

Photo: Adam Mørk

The building’s interiors are distinguished by the contrast between the rectilinear form of the concert hall and informal arrangement of the surrounding foyers. The foyers are flanked by the music library, green room and extensive teaching facilities, before opening out onto Lielais laukums, in the form of terraces and balconies.

The concert hall is designed in response to the specific demands of classical music. The size of the podium, audience distribution and acoustic concerns dictate the size and proportions of the hall. The concert hall is elegantly lined throughout in timber - ideal for its acoustic properties. The hall features a highly expressive organ prospect stretching across the rear of the stage. The smaller hall is compact and inherently flexible. The outer wall can be opened up to provide for summer outdoor performances. Both halls are acoustically isolated allowing for simultaneous use.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk
Energy & Comfort Concept

The design is driven by radically reducing the energy consumption in operation by combining a high performing building envelope with the most efficient demand-driven technical systems. In combination with a high insulation level of opaque facades and triple glazing, heat losses are low and loads strictly controlled. Wind-protected shading integrated into box windows makes use of solar gains as heating source in winter.

Periodically used classrooms and rehearsal spaces around the perimeter of the building have decentralized mechanical ventilation units with integrated heating recovery system. All classroom and rehearsal spaces have manually operable facade openings for fresh air supply shutting off decentralized mechanical air supply automatically.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk

Outside air intake for the central air handling units of the main and small halls, together with the public foyer, is routed through a series of ground-coupled earth ducts exploiting the relative soil temperature for pre-heating / pre-cooling of the outside air. This substantially reduces heating and cooling demand and the sizing of the central technical plant. Dependent upon occupancy levels and outdoor conditions, the halls and the foyer can be naturally ventilated.

A geothermal heat supply is derived from an extensive foundation pile system combined with a heat pump. The cooling demand is provided by the reversible heat pump in combination with heat rejection to the geothermal system. Added to this is the high-efficient heat recovery that saves energy in the large and small halls: sorption wheels have a heat recovery rate of up to 85% and additionally transfers air humidity from the exhaust air into the supply air providing comfortable levels of air temperature and humidity essential for the musical instruments and performers.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk
Summary

A highly distinctive building houses a wide range of rehearsal and performance spaces developed to the highest acoustic and energy standards. The project champions an innovative environmental concept affording comfort and individual control with minimal resources.

Photo: Adam Mørk
Photo: Adam Mørk
Drawing: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050
Drawing: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050
Drawing: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050
Drawing: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050
Drawing: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050
Drawing: haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050

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