House of Music: Harmonic interaction in architectural playground

Musikkens Hus i Aalborg

Musikkens Hus i Aalborg


Lars Bo Brøns Jensen

Lars Bo Brøns Jensen

Senior Project Manager
T: +45 9935 7465

The U-shaped concrete building with an ameba-shaped facade is placed on angled, thin columns which reach as high as the third floor. The building is divided in a rectangular shape but along its sides it turns into a triangular shape and ultimately opens towards the Limfjord in numerous geometrical shapes with the restaurant as a central meeting point. Inside, the building contains a concert hall with 1300 seats and world-class acoustics, which constitutes the center of the compact building.      

The House of Music has outstanding architectural details. When comparing the outer details with the inner functions, one sees the broader connection. For instance, the round windows, which on the outside seem randomly placed, have specific impacts on the inner part of the building where all offices and rehearsal rooms each have a chip of the circled windows, creating varied inflows of light and setting different moods. 

The internationally renowned architectural company Coop Himmelb(l)au has created the House of Music, which has been named “Building of the Year 2014” for its contribution to the cultural development in Northern Jutland. The design for the new cultural centre of Aalborg is drawn as a three-winged farm, with inspiration from a French convent. The floating shapes are inspired by the water in the Limfjord, which the House of Music borders on. 

Ramboll has provided services in connection to the geometrically complex steel and concrete constructions, along with environmental and soil engineering in cooperation with B+G Ingenieure Bollinger & Grohmann GmbH (D).

3D modelling creates new opportunities for construction
With its massive concrete main building, the House of Music sets high demands for its construction which consist of thin columns that are both diagonally and vertically bend. The House of Music is built on the same grounds as the original power stations which were placed on the harbour side in Aalborg. The new constructions are therefore completely or partially placed on top of the existing concrete constructions.

Ramboll’s engineers continuously made several GPS registrations of the existing underground constructions. The GPS registrations were implemented in Ramboll’s 3D model in order for the foundation of the pillars to be designed in regards to the placement of the existing constructions in the ground.

Ramboll’s 3D project design has been significant in meeting the acoustic demands and has contributed in making the architect’s complex geometry ready for the entrepreneurs.      

The architecture sets acoustic standards
The large main building and the concert hall inside it are designed as separate ‘box in box’ buildings, meaning that the buildings have no physical connection. To meet the high acoustic demands of the large concert hall a 5-centimeter air gap all the way around the construction of the concert hall, including the foundation of the building, has been made.

- The complex wishes and demands for the architecture and the acoustic conditions highlights the 3D technique as an essential tool for avoiding collisions and securing control of the constructions, says Lars Bo Brøns Jensen, Project Manager at Ramboll.    

The 3D project design makes it possible to convert the shapes from the architect’s Rhino models, which has been used as a design tool for the project. 3D project design creates several opportunities for precision of the single elements and is therefore ideal for usage in a task which requires as precise placements as the columns which support the House of Music.   

Praised as Building of the Year
The notable architecture of the House of Music as well as its status as a much awaited cultural gathering point contributed to the House of Music being named Building of the Year 2014 by the magazine ‘Byggeri’, which each year highlights the most prominent constructions in Denmark. The House of Music is expected to attract both Danish and foreign guests and will contribute to the growth in the region of Northern Jutland.

The House of Music makes up 20,000 square metres of a larger master plan for the habour area in Aalborg, which also consists of the cultural venues Nordkraft and Utzon Center. The area also holds opportunities for a hotel, offices, shops, gastronomy, housing and performance.  


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