Steve Martin once quipped that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. But it makes a certain sense that architecture can express music pretty well. That’s what Ben Van Berkel, of UNStudio, was going for in his dramatic new music hall in Graz, Austria, which opens this Sunday. Outside, it’s actually pretty plain: a diaphanous box, with curved edges. But inside, the space was inspired by a stretch and folded spring.
“The relationship between music and architecture is a classical one. Too classical for our times, may be the thought of many contemporary architects. But that is not our view; UNStudio likes classical with a twist…’ The desire to make a building that is as much about music as a building can be, has been a constant throughout the nearly ten years that it took to build the theater and the themes that are at the basis of the building and its overall organization have also endured throughout this time,” says van Berkel.
Construction of the 19 million euro new music theater — The MUMUTH — Haus für Musik und Musiktheater, a faculty building for the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (KUG) began in March 2006. The first performance, on opening night will feature W.A. Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.”