Pierre Boulez Saal

“The one day after we gave it to him, he sat in front of the model and just stared into it for hours…” recounted Frank Gehry about Pierre Boulez´ reaction to the hall’s architectural model. Perhaps Boulez was revealing in the potential of this uniquely flexible hall, transfixed by its countless possibilities. It is a modular construction which, by reconfiguring its tiers, can create a variety of spatial correlations. The defining concept of “Salle Modulable” (modular hall) distinguishes it from other venues and creates for it a special place in Berlin’s music landscape.

 

An expressive sketch of ovals was the inspiration for this spherical space, which encompasses a full sweep of 360 degrees. The proximity of audience and musicians is an essential ingredient, as they will never be separated by more than a few meters. Its design enables the audience to experience an unusually strong connection to the special energy that is released when music is made. The two artfully interlocking ellipses of the tiers create an impression of awe-inspiring weightlessness.

 

The hall seats up to 682 visitors, and each guest will be seamlessly integrated into the space. The setting can adapt to the number of musicians and, above all, to the repertoire being performed. Each vantage point offers a different take on the concert, and even the performing artists will constantly discover new perspectives within the space. The intimacy of the hall allows solo musicians to appear on stage with the same integrity as chamber music formations, while comfortably fitting a medium-sized orchestra. It is the expression of an ideal that highlights unity and inspires creativity in all those who cross the threshold of the Pierre Boulez Saal.


Location Berlin, Germany
Date Completed 2017
Architect Gehry Partners, LLP
Type Performing Arts Centers
Status Built
Press Architectural Record, Mar 2017
Photo Credits Roland Halbe