Symphonie fantastique!

James Forryan
Thursday 25 Jun 2009

Sweden's new cultural bulding interacts with Uppsala's historic surroundings

With its reflecting metallic façades, the Uppsala Concert & Congress Hall appears as a large, split crystal.The vertical cleft in the building provides the public with access from two sides - from the old historical town and from the modern and vibrant Vaksala Square. From the horizontal cleft above one has a view over Uppsala's characteristic skyline, which is dominated by the castle, the cathedral and the university library.

The 37m-high concert & congress hall comprises 14,600 m2 covering a total of eight levels including the basement. The building houses exhibition areas and three concert halls, of which the largest with 1,150 seats is planned for symphonic music.

The building’s public spaces are grouped around the entrance hall’s vertical cleft and can be accessed from the central escalators. On the arrival level (level 2) there is an exhibition and banquet hall with room for 600 guests. Here, there is also a large open café with a south oriented terrace.

The long red escalators connect the building’s different foyer areas and lead the visitors from the arrival hall up to level 3, where they are met by a magnificent view over Vaksala Square. Level 3 contains a large conference and music hall that seats 350 people and a smaller meeting area with room for 100. From level 3, the escalators continue in a spectacular continuous length more than three floors up to the Grand Hall’s foyer on level 6, which opens to the exceptional view over Uppsala’s rooftops and skyline.

The Grand Hall is the building’s largest and most important space with 1.150 seats from the parquet to the balcony. The hall can house a large and versatile repertoire spanning from large symphony orchestra concerts to hip hop, pop and jazz.

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