Red giant: the Great Amber Concert Hall is a new landmark for Latvia

Concert Hall
The brand new Great Amber Concert Hall in Liepaja is set to become a symbol for the Latvian city
(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

Following an architecture competition held in 2003, the windiest town in Latvia is host to a new striking cone-shaped building. The structure is celebrating Liepaja, the city located on the Baltic Sea coast on the westernmost point of the country. On 7 November, the Great Amber Concert Hall will be inaugurated as the first of a number of interventions to turn this part of the city into a 'cultural urban district'.

Designed by Graz architect Volker Giencke, the building is intended as a civic monument, a new landmark open to everyone. Its amber-coloured skin reflects an effort to firmly place Liepaja on the global cultural map: during the day reflecting various shades of amber, at night becoming a gleaming point of reference.

Beyond the tinted glass lies an irregularly shaped structure that folds around a grand concert hall with a capacity of 1,000 visitors. The hall is arranged into terraces as part of Giencke's collaboration with Munich firm Müller-BBM to achieve optimal acoustic quality. Fourteen reflective tubes flood the space with daylight, not to mention the orchestra pit and stalls, which can be elevated to form additional space for congresses, exhibitions and receptions.

The architects' idea of multipurpose use and openness in further emphasized by additional programs arranged around the central hall: rehearsing rooms for the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra and Music School, a ballet studio, an experimental stage, foyer, bar, music club, and, finally, the Civita Nova ('new city') hall, which provides an additional 2000 sq m space for various events.

The area around the building is bathed in warm tints of amber, which is a material traditionally linked to the region. According to the architects, the project is intended to reminisce such aspects of Latvian culture, while at the same time drawing international attention to the country's music and architectural legacies. 

the concert hall

Designed by Graz architect Volker Giencke, the concert hall is the first completion in the city's new cultural district

(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

amber-coloured skin

The structure's amber-coloured skin is a reference to the region's traditional links to the material

(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

concert hall

A state of the art, grand concert hall has a capacity of 1000 visitors 

(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

central hall

Everything is arranged around a central hall in the building

(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

The building

The building also includes rehearsing rooms for the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra and Music School, a ballet studio, an experimental stage...

(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

The music club

...foyer, bar, music club, and, finally, the Civita Nova ('new city') hall, which provides an additional 2000 sqm space for various events

(Image credit: Indrikis Sturmanis)

INFORMATION

For more information on Volker Giencke, visit the studio’s website (opens in new tab)

Photography: Indrikis Sturmanis

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