Space & Acoustics
Konzerthaus Dortmund

The Secret of Good Sound

Konzerthaus Dortmund was designed by Dortmund-based architectural practice Schröder Schulte-Ladbeck. The concert hall, with its raw, dark outer skin floats into the airy and welcoming foyer like a mussel in water.

Mehr erfahren

Inspired by the classic rectangular shape of the Vienna Musikverein hall, the Konzerthaus Dortmund hall is also a hall in “shoebox” format – not as small, but with similar proportions. The hall is 55m long and has a width and height of 25m.

Almost every detail in the hall affects the acoustics. the seats of the chairs have been constructed with a carefully calculated perforated panel, which features a special foam on top. The walls of the hall are completely covered with acoustic elements. The rounded plaster elements, that are backed with wool, not only give the room a soft decorative form in a rhythmic wave ⁠but have a key role in optimally reflecting the sound waves so that there are no acoustic holes.

Ornamental bands are built into these wall elements with small boxes of different depths. The ornamental bands are also used to optimise the acoustics of the space. In the hall of the Vienna Musikverein, there are many small cherubs and wall decorations that reflect the sound in a special way. In Dortmund Konzerthaus, box-shaped recesses do this instead.

Konzerthaus Dortmund

Artists love the hall and its excellent acoustics:

»In addition to the concert halls in Boston and Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Dortmund is acoustically one of the world’s top three halls... And it is beautiful too.« 

Anne-Sophie Mutter

Acousticians were involved in the planning of the concert hall from the start. Everything is arranged to support the “good sound”. The reverberation time of two seconds is considered to be optimum for the sound experience for classical concerts.

For chamber music concerts, the concert hall can be split by a curtain (which is also acoustically optimised) and the capacity reduced to 600 seats.

Konzerthaus Dortmund

The rectangular concert hall is enveloped by a smaller sickle-shaped part of the building with the food and drink area, foyer areas and the visitor stairs.

A public glass passage connects Brückstraße to Reinoldistraße and is open over the whole day and late into the night. The passage is only closed when the restaurant is.

Konzerthaus Dortmund

At the front of the concert hall, the large organ from the Bonn-based organ maker Klais is resplendent.

3,565 pipes – 306 made of wood and 3,259 of tin – and 53 stops create powerful sounds that can be experienced during organ recitals and large orchestral works.

The sounding part of the smallest pipe measures just 8 millimetres. In contrast, the largest pipe is 8.13 metres long and weighs 400 kilograms. This is great news for the organ maker, because according to a tradition that has been handed down since the 16th century, the client, if they like the instrument, gives the organ maker as much wine as the largest pipe can hold. And in the case of the Konzerthaus organ, it was a volume of at least 600 litres that was officially handed over by the owner with the instrument on 28 September 2002.