Beethoven Hall in Bonn / Zaha Hadid

By:  | September - 1 - 2010

A central priority in Zaha Hadid Architect’s urban design concept for a new Beethoven Festival Hall is linking the city of Bonn to the Rhine River promenade and leveraging that idea’s potential to enrich public life on the river’s edge.

Learning from the missed opportunities during the planning of the existing building in the 1950’s, Zaha Hadid Architect’ proposal not only incorporates a high degree of porosity in its site plan, but intensifies the connection by introducing a transparent “Rhine Foyer” into the building mass; a dramatic atrium that stretches from the City to the Rhine. With two main façades, the building presents itself in an open and inviting manner to the River and the City, allowing for deep visual links through its crystalline mass. The light Rhine Foyer will make audiences and performers feel comfortable and relaxed but simultaneously excited by the anticipation of a unique experience.

Site circulation can take place uninterrupted through various levels inside and around the building. Artificial landscape formations lead from inside the building to terraced outdoor areas, interweaving the elevated foyer levels with surrounding exterior plateaus. The stepped topography on the Rhine invites Bonn residents and visitors to informally enjoy outdoor performances. The main public route is a large diagonal passage, an ‘erosion’, running from the city through the Rhine Foyer and down a large exterior staircase to the river promenade. The promenade is sliced into curvilinear seating that gently step down to the Rhine, facing a seasonal floating performance area on the water’s edge. Illumination from within the foyer, embedded in the ground, and floating in the water will change the character of the site and building during evening performances.

images ©Zaha Hadid Architects

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