The new concert hall at Sandvigå in Stavanger has given Norway another international class music venue. And the new cultural arena offers the city a multitude of possibilities.
The site for the new concert hall is only a short walk away from the town centre, facing the bay. The natural terrain has allowed for a large outdoor amphitheatre, while the main direction of the new complex faces the sea, with reference to the traditional dockside warehouse typology.
The programme for the 2003 design competition asked for two halls of approximately the same volume: one designed for natural acoustics, to house Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and one multi-purpose hall. This project locates the halls in two separate volumes: The acoustic hall as a fragile instrument protected by a concrete box, and the other as a robust box within a glass prism. The latter box also contains rehearsal rooms, administration and service functions, while the glass prism allows the public area an open view of the surrounding town and landscape.
The main concert hall has 1500 seats and is designed according to the acoustic “shoebox principle”. Moveable ceiling elements makes it possible to “tune” the hall for different purposes. The multipurpose hall can be varied from a proscenium arrangement to a flat floor, to accommodate everything from dance performances to rock concerts.
The expression of the building comes from the colours of the materials themselves: light granite floors, perforated metal ceilings, lacquered sheet steel and red concrete. The concert hall is clad internally with oiled maple panelling, with oiled ash floors. The multipurpose hall has a floor of dark oak. The plaza and amphitheatre is made of in-situ concrete and granite paving, with occasional ornamentation in the form of colourful mosaics. Flat areas are planted with lawns and flowerbeds, steeper areas covered with climbers. Timber terraces descend to the water’s edge, and a cherry grove connects to the adjacent Bjergsted Park.