Glass Music Hall will be demolished

The famous Glass Music Hall in the former Exchange of Berlage, designed by architect Pieter Zaanen and structural designer Mick Eekhout is going to be demolished by order of the current management of the 'Beurs van Berlage'. The main reason for dismantling the structure is to create conference space for 700 seats in the 'Graanzaal', instead of the 200 seats that the Glass Hall provide. The structural glass project has been produced in 1988 and build in 1989-1990. It is the first large frameless glass structure in the Netherlands.

At the time, the Glass Hall was built for the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra (NedPhO) and the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. The Graanzaal was quite noisy because of the rented offices on the different floors thus an acoustic envelope for the concert space was indispensable. Out of respect for Berlage, this was envisaged completely in glass. The hall was put down a bit angular in the former Graanzaal, built as a building inside a building. In the past 25 years it has regularly been functioned as rehearsal space for chamber music, as concert hall for chamber music (every second Sunday afternoon), but it was also home to many lectures, conferences, award ceremonies (KNAW Heinekenprijzen) and press conferences (Mayor van der Laan on the occassion of the succession of the throne in April 2013).
The NedPhO however has moved to the Majellakerk in Amsterdam West in 2012. Thereby the management of the Beurs van Berlage had lost its most regular tenant, jeopardizing its budget neutral ambition.

The project is very significant because it is the first glass music hall in the Netherlands, designed by Octatube. There would be a number to follow: the Glass Museum Hall at the Prinsenhof in Delft, the Jewish Synagogue in The Hague, the Pendulous Glass Hall in the New Church in The Hague, the atrium of the Natural History Museum in Leeuwarden, and last but not least, in March 2014, the Berlage Hall in the covered atrium of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague.

But, only 25 years after commissioning the Glass Music Hall - the mother of Octatube's glass halls - it is about to disappear. Since a couple of years there have been various attempts to find a large foster building to accomodate the hall. Unsuccessfully. Octatube finds it very sad that demolition is about to happen, at the end of July 2014.

There is still a desire to find a candidate to adopt the project. To then disassemble the hall, if necessary store it for some time, and then to rebuild it on a new location in an existing building as a glass hall. As a glass hall with excellent acoustic properties, suitable for music and lectures. The hall is 10 meters high, 9 to 13 meters in width and 22 meters long. It can hold up to 200 seats.

Who is interested or knows a possibility? To preserve this piece of contemporary high-tech culture!

Mick Eekhout
Designer of the Glass Music Hall with Kees Spanjers
(Zaanen Spanjers Architecten)


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