New music center to bring better acoustics to Helsinki

Posted on: November 23, 2009

Late Sunday (11/22) on, Chad Thomas writes, “Osmo Vänskä, the Finnish music director of the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis, is looking forward to the opening of a new music center in Helsinki. He doesn’t have anything nice to say about the acoustics in Finlandia Hall, the city’s current main concert venue. … After years of discussions, Finland has become serious about remedying the problem, shelling out 140 million euros ($208 million) and hiring a top acoustician to create a new music center. Additional time to prepare the site, and bids that exceeded the original budget, led to a delay of two years. The center, now 50 percent over its initial projected cost and financed by the city of Helsinki, the federal government and YLE, Finland’s public broadcaster, is set to open in 2011. … The music center, designed by Finnish firm LPR-arkkitehdit Oy, embraces Scandinavian design, with clean, functional spaces. The exterior generously uses patinated copper to visually link with the green copper roof of nearby Finlandia Hall and a glazed glass foyer surrounds the concert hall. The auditorium itself features double-paned, insulated glass walls on the main floor, allowing people inside the hall to see out to the foyer and into the park in front. A curtain between the glass panels can also be shut during performances.”

Posted November 23, 2009