School of Music

Architects: BEM Architects, URBAN AGENCY, bbz

Area: 5000.0 sqm

URBAN AGENCY, BEM Architects and bbz have unveiled their proposal for the Kronberg School of Music, in Kronberg, Germany, which includes a music chamber, music school and hotel. Developed as an invited competition entry, the project aims to enhance the area around the Kronberg train station and act as a new “gate” to the city, designed to blend into the forecourt of the station.

The music chamber was shaped by the site's landscape, which is allowed to flow through the building via a foyer. Through the curved design of the building envelope, the music chamber achieves a sculptural form. Large, column-free openings are made possible by way of curved wall cut-outs, which shape both the halls and exterior façade.


Philharmonic Hall

Architect & interior design: MAD Architects

Location: Beijing, China

Area: 11600.0 sqm

Project year: 2019


MAD Architects has unveiled the design of the new China Philharmonic Hall in Beijing. Conceived in collaboration with renowned acoustic expert Yasuhisa Toyota (Walt Disney Concert Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, Suntory Hall, etc.), the concert hall will serve as the China Philharmonic Orchestra’s first permanent residency while becoming “a cultural exchange and China’s new locus for classical music.”

To be located at the south side of the Workers Stadium East Gate in Beijing’s Central Business District, the 26,587 square meter (286,000 square foot) building has been envisioned as a “hidden gem” and a place of peaceful respite within the city.

“We wanted to create a pure and sacred oasis in the midst of the bustling city,” says Ma Yansong, founder & principal partner of MAD Architects. “From the moment you enter the building, you will be taken to another time and space.”


Surrounded by a lotus pond and lush greenery, the building’s draped, translucent façade lifts at the entrances to invite in visitors. Once inside, the soaring lobby will provide access to the two performance halls and serve as an area for mingling within the soft light.

“Audiences will experience a transition from an urban setting to one of music and nature, preparing them for a journey of self-discovery,” says Ma Yansong.



The design of the 1,600-seat main concert hall draws inspiration from the natural, with “vineyard style” seating rising around the stage in a series of sloping terraces and white sound reflection petals on the ceiling will take the form of segments of a lotus flower. During the day, natural light will filter through the ceiling elements, while at night, lighting and visualizations can be projects onto the interior surfaces to create natural scenes that harmonize with the musical performances.

On the south side of the building, a 400-seat rehearsal hall will be nestled within curved wooden walls. An adjustable sound reflection panel at the back of the stage can be configured for different performance types; in its most dramatic arrangement, it can be raised to allow the natural lotus pond outside to serve as the backdrop for the performance.




The building will also contain professional recording studio, a library, a collection gallery, offices, rehearsal rooms, and other auxiliary function spaces. MAD Architects hopes the design will become “a new formula for concert hall design and introduce a space within the busy city that promotes conversations between people, nature, and music.”

Construction on the China Philharmonic Hall will begin later this year, and is expected to be completed in 2019.


Populous designs esports stadium for Toronto

Architecture studio Populous has unveiled visuals of a multi-purpose arena in Toronto, Canada, designed to be able to host music concerts, plays and esports competitions.

Due to complete in 2025, the 7,000-seat stadium will be located in the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) Grounds.

The as-yet-unnamed Toronto venue will be specially designed to facilitate esports events, short for electronic sports – competitive video gaming as a spectator event.


Populous has designed the stadium so that it can host these events alongside more traditional theatrical events and concerts.

"The design of the theatre was neither conceived as a sports arena nor an opera house, rather, a new typology that straddles the two – a state-of-the-art performance venue," said Populous senior principal Jonathan Mallie

"The theatre architecture creates a merger of the old and the new."



Renders show a covered arena sheltered by a swooping roof that recalls the form of a turtle's shell or a space ship.

Multiple stories are visible behind curved glass walls and an exterior deck projects from one end. Around the rim of the stadium roof, a wide band of screens forms a media facade.


Coal Drops Yard

 Thomas Heatherwick explains his thinking behind the design of the soon-to-open Coal Drops Yard shopping centre, in this video filmed in King's Cross, London.

Heatherwick Studio is combining two 19th century buildings that were once used for storing coal into a canal-side shopping destination, which is due to open next month.


This video shows Heatherwick walking from his studio, which has been based in King's Cross for 17 years, to the new development, as he explains how the building's design came about.

"As a local person I was thinking what's missing, how do you do something that is really particular to here?" Heatherwick says in the video.

Heatherwick Studio's design for the Coal Drops Yard merges the two existing buildings by curving the two gabled roofs towards each other.

"Our breakthrough, in a way, was realising that we grow those [roofs], grow them together, because the roofs needed replacing," says Heatherwick. "And in replacing the roofs we could fuse those roofs together, as if it heals into a heart."

In the film Lisa Finlay, group leader at Heatherwick Studio, further explains the thinking behind the connection between the two 19th century buildings.

She says that the elements structures was integrated into the historic buildings without adding any additional load to the them.


"These two historic structures were never originally designed for people to circulate through and by themselves would have never made a successful retail destination if we did nothing more than clean them and fill them with shops," said Heatherwick.

"The distance between them being too great to have any social chemistry with each other and only two stories of activity would not create enough busy-ness and vitality."