Unique seats for an auditorium with optimum acoustic features
The DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen is probably the best venue in Denmark for concerts due to its terrific acoustics. Located in the northern part of Ørested and designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the big hall was equipped with a bespoke model –the Byen chair- by Jean Nouvel Design, to achieve immersive sound for the audience.
The DR Byen Copenhagen Concert House is one of the most architecturally spectacular concert halls to be created in recent years anywhere in the world. It is located on the outskirts of the city, and one of the main concerns of its designer, Jean Nouvel, was how to work in an environment that has not yet been defined in urban planning terms: ‘Our only choice was to respond using the positive force of uncertainty: mystery… It will be a volume that leaves you guessing about its interiority, a mysterious parallelepiped, changing according to the lights of the night and day.’
This approach led to the creation of a large blue box with façades made of a translucent metal mesh that offers a glimpse of the different uses to which the interior is put. At night, the box is lit up by lights projected from the interior. This gives the building an extraordinary vibrating look, as if it were a large organism, living and changing. Inside the cube – in an environment that’s completely distinct from the exterior in terms of its form – is a large 1800-seat concert hall clad in large panels that follow the form of the space, at the top and below, giving it the appearance of a large faceted rock.
The concert hall is suspended in the upper part of the cube, while a 500-seat hall and two 200-seat venues are housed in the lower part. Other facilities are distributed around the interior, which includes a 2000-m² covered square that serves as a large common space for interaction.
To sit down and forget you’re in a seat, to let yourself be carried away by the music, to feel – these are the ideas that drove the creation of the Byen seat, developed specifically for Copenhagen’s sophisticated DR Byen concert hall. Jean Nouvel worked in collaboration with the Figueras Design Centre ‘to achieve a balance between an original seat design and the comfort of functional seating.’ The Byen seat’s distinctive lines are inspired by a classic seat once used in royal boxes, but the latest technologies were applied to achieve acoustic excellence. Yasuhisa Toyota built a 1:10 scale model of the symphony hall and studied the acoustics of the space to achieve optimal results.
The Byen seat’s distinctive lines are inspired by a classic seat once used in royal boxes, but the latest technologies were applied to achieve acoustic excellence. The goal of achieving immersive surround sound was just as important as the aesthetics of the space. The seating creates an interior landscape of autumn tones, reinforcing the original concept of a ‘living organism’ that was Jean Nouvel’s inspiration for the concert hall. The seats are made of beech wood, with sheets that are randomly sectioned to expose multicoloured layers. The resulting effect mimics nature and makes each piece (backrest, arms and wooden side frames) distinct.