DR Koncerthuset is a cultural institution in the northern part of Ørestad. Part of an intriguing urban renewal area in Copenhagen, with well-known projects placed head-to-head along the verdant and lush canal. At one end stand the facilities of the concert house, an 11-story building (one of four in the complex), designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in 2009.
For the audience, the concert house was a cultural maze, entering a three-in-a-row studio construction—like a giant walnut of audial experiences. There was just one problem: there was a need for human scale and more dynamic use of the connecting, walnut-like foyer. “When the foyer connecting studio, 2,3 and 4 was rebuilt we installed +Halle's Ø as a centrepiece to activate the room,” Jonas Hartz says, bringing softness and playful layers to Nouvel’s grand atrium. “The sofa installation underlines the social aspect of the live concert experience and stands out in Nouvel’s raw architecture.”
The house had been a myriad of culture, but when interiors were readdressed after a decade in use, the house realised more dynamism was needed in the areas between the studios and halls. The concert house got behind a purposeful re-activation strategy and Kilo design was commissioned, making the case that more informal use of the foyer would improve the quality of the total experience. “The ambition was to stimulate a larger cohesion between the time spent before and after the concerts,” says Jonas Hartz, social design specialist and creative advisor to DR Koncerthuset.
To change the dynamics in the entrance hall from a mere ‘transport room’ to a social experience could stitch the halls with its cultural and experiential context. “In the first brainstorm around the space we discussed a bar with standing and sitting options, in that way we would create layers in the typology,” Hartz explains, “but the Ø sofa configuration has solved that multiple layered effects naturally. People are utilising the space, sitting and standing in a most organic way, without the traditional bar setting.”
Getting the best out of the foyers in the DR concert house has since become a wider topic. Today, the media house and the events team are all involved in creating dynamic identities for foyers across the four-building large complex. “We are pleased that the installation of Ø brought attention to the entry and exit narratives of the DR Concert House and we will continue to foster unique experiences on all levels in Jean Nouvel's fantastic house,” Hartz concludes.
Ø is the Danish word for island. It's also a bench system centred around human activity, designed by Kilo for +Halle to accommodate the many-sided needs relating to daily use in modern, soft contract environments. A series of small islands, Ø can work as individual modules, or interlock, to create larger formations that suit the needs of your space. The organic shapes and multiple options make for warm and welcoming seating areas.
Ø is accessible from all sides, creating a space for socializing and working collaboratively in a flexible, informal setting.
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