Casa da Musica: Crossroads of Music and Architecture
Casa da Musica or House of Music is a very well-known concert hall in the city where Port Wine was born – Porto. The hall is a cultural institution and has three in-house orchestras namely: Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Orquestra Barroca and Remix Ensemble.
Designed by Rem Koolhaas, an architect from the Netherlands, the Casa da Musica in Porto was built in 2005 as a part of the works done to welcome the European Culture Capital initiative and soon enough became an iconic city symbol.
The concert hall is a prime example of some ground breaking engineering techniques that have been used to give birth to an unusual design. In fact, such is the design of the hall, that New York Times said that the building is one of the best projects by architect Koolhaas and that the intellectual level of the design is matched only by its sensuality. The thirteen curtains of varying lengths as well as the ‘gold leaf’ wood grain design were designed by Inside Outside’s Petra Blaisse.
The first concert in the Casa da Musica Porto was held on 14th April 2005 and the concert hall was inaugurated a day later, on 15th April 2005 by the President of Portugal. Many notable and high profile people of the Porto society, besides the Prime Minister of the country, also attended the Orquestra Nacional do Porto performance.
With a seating capacity of around 1200 people, the main auditorium is big enough to accommodate more, depending on the occasion. The smaller auditorium can accommodate 300 to 650 people (sitting and standing). Such is the flexibility of the design, that the size of the stage, the location, and the chair arrangement can be altered as per sound and performance requirements.
Considered to be an architectural marvel, the irregularly shaped, 12-storeyed Casa da Musica in Porto is a must visit for those who love design, architecture or music. The House of Music is located opposite to Mouzinho de Alburquerque