Advertisement

MUMUTH
UNStudio

February 23, 2009 /

Graz, Austria

mumuth_1.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters

We saw the spiral as the organizing element of the MUMUTH in much the same way as Serialism works in contemporary music./ Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos

Although, according to the architects, the project outwardly has changed considerably since its inception, the two themes that are at the basis of the building and its overall organization have endured.

The principle of a spiral that divides itself into a number of interconnected smaller spirals that take on a vertical and diagonal direction was an important design model for us which we called the blob-to-box model. It illustrated in a simple line diagram how a building could be structured to combine within one, rigorous gesture a strict, unit-based volume (the black box of the theatre) and a series of flowing, movement-based volumes (foyer and public circulation).

Because this organizing principle is made constructive, a free, fluent internal spatial arrangement is actualized, efficiently connecting spaces to each other.
/ Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos

mumuth_2.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters



mumuth_3.jpg
Image courtesy UNStudio

mumuth_4.jpg
Image courtesy UNStudio

mumuth_5.jpg
Image courtesy UNStudio

mumuth_6.jpg
Image courtesy UNStudio
The theatre has a public character which is dynamic and which facilitates groups of people moving through it during events, and it has a calm, quiet, intense, but also very flexible and rational character which is related to the specific prescriptions of the auditorium and the rehearsal studios.

There are two entrances; the everyday entrance on the park side which is used by students and staff, and the public entrance on the Lichtenfelsgasse which is used by the audience when there is a performance.

mumuth_7.jpg
Photo: arcspace
mumuth_8.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_9.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_10.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_11.jpg
Photo: arcspace
mumuth_12.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters

The public ascends the wide staircase and enters a large foyer on the first floor. The free-flowing space of the foyer is made possible by a spiraling constructive element that connects the entrance to the auditorium and to the music rooms above, thus welding together "with a twist" the three levels of this side of the building.

mumuth_12.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_13.jpg
Photo: arcspace
mumuth_14.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_15.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
The dimensions of the twist, a massive concrete construction, necessitated great precision and the use of self compacting concrete which was pumped up from below instead of poured down from above as is the usual method.

mumuth_16.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_17.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
The twist forms a central feature of the public space, around which everything revolves. Lighting and material details accentuate the ripple effect. The twist is highlighted from above by a skylight in the ceiling, which itself consists of lamellas executed in dark wood which fan out from the twist in a wave-like pattern.

mumuth_18.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_19.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_20.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters

Our interest in re-establishing a relationship between music and architecture had from the beginning focused on shared aspects such as rhythm, continuity, channelling. Through our readings of the philosopher Gilles Deleuze we learned that there is another element that we had not seriously studied before: the element of repetition.

Repetition generates an aggregate with densifications, intensifications and intervals. Repetition brings sonority. It allows for improvisation, it marks territory, it codes milieus. We decided to use a repetitive pattern, of our own design, and apply this to the facades in various ways to achieve some of these effects.
/ Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos

mumuth_21.jpg
Image courtesy UNStudio
mumuth_22.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_23.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
The pattern, executed in the muted tones of stage make-up, is found all over the building in various degrees of density. Its appearance is furthermore impacted by changes in light during night and day, as well as by proximity and view angles since the outermost layer of the facade consists of a glittering mesh.

mumuth_24.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_25.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_26.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
The foyer gives access to the multipurpose auditorium that can seat up to 650, and that is adaptable to a great variety of performances, ranging from solo instruments to dance, to full orchestra. The musical pattern is also applied on the walls in the theater for acoustical reasons.

mumuth_27.jpg
Photo: arcspace
mumuth_28.jpg
Photo: Christian Richters
mumuth_29.jpg
Photo: arcspace
Having been invited by Georg Schulz, Rector of the University of Music and Performing Arts, to hear a classical trio, a jazz ensemble, and the rehearsal for the opera "The Magic Flute," to be shown for the official opening on March 1, 2009, we can tell you the acoustics are perfect.

This 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 it.

And since the MUMUTH theatre belongs to the University of Graz and is therefore a place where young musicians receive their instruction in the performing and musical arts, it seems to us appropriate to let the architecture communicate that this is a building in which music lives.
/ Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos

mumuth_30.jpg
Image courtesy UNStudioSite Plan


mumuth_31.jpg
Sketch courtesy UNStudioSpiral Sketch


mumuth_32.jpg
Sketch courtesy UNStudioFacade Sketch
mumuth_33.jpg
Rendering courtesy UNStudioFacade Elevation
mumuth_34.jpg
Drawing courtesy UNStudioGround Floor Plan
mumuth_35.jpg
Drawing courtesy UNStudioFirst Floor Plan
mumuth_36.jpg
Drawing courtesy UNStudioSecond Floor Plan

mumuth_37.jpg
Drawing courtesy UNStudioThird Floor Plan
mumuth_38.jpg
Drawing courtesy UNStudioCross Section
mumuth_39.jpg
Drawing courtesy UNStudioLongitudinal Section

Facts about MUMUTH

Site area:

2,800 m2
Gross floor surface: 6,200 m2

Architects:
UNStudio

Ben van Berkel
Caroline Bos
Hannes Pfau
Miklos Deri
Kirsten Hollmann,
Markus Berger
Florian Pischetsrieder
Uli Horner
Albert Gnodde
Peter Trummer
Maarten van Tuijl
Matthew Johnston
Mike Green
Monica Pacheco
Ger Gijzen
Wouter de Jonge

Engineering:
Arup
Cecil Balmond
Volker Schmid
Charles Walker
Francis Archer

Engineering execution:
Peter Mandl and Partners

Specifications:

Housinc Bauconsult

Accoustics and building physics:

ZT Gerhard Tomberger Pro Acoustics Engineering

Stage technique:

e.f.f.e.c.t.s. technisches Büro GmbH, Klosterneuburg

Photographed by Christian Richters

Client:

BIG
Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
KUG
University for music and dramatic arts
Graz

Last updated: December 19, 2013

See also

Copyright 1999 - 2014 arcspace all rights reserved.

Feedback