Title: Concerthall Blaibach
Location: Kirchplatz Blaibach, Germany
Office: PETER HAIMERL . ARCHITEKTUR; Beierle.görlich
Authors: Peter Haimerl, Edward Beierle and Jutta Görlich
Category: Collective Places
Video: Filmed and edited by NAARO
Photos: NAARO, Edward Beierle
The concert hall is a solitaire of concrete with an inclination above the slope in the village centre following the topography and linking with its granite facade to the stone carver tradition of Blaibach. The monolithic tilted building opens itself to the visitors at the new village square and guides them by a staircase to the foyer below the surface. The foyer provides not only the functional areas like wardrobe, sanitary rooms and bar, but also leads the visitor excitingly around the auditorium into the inner concert hall. The hall unfolds its acoustics within the seemingly light building. While the precised light slits illuminate the space. The building body is made of pre-cast concrete and only a highly intricate constructed formwork made the realization of the difficult form possible. The dominant tilted surfaces of the concert hall are based on acoustic specifications and include besides LED-lights also bass absorber behind the light slits as well as underneath the steps for optimal acoustics. The concrete in the hall is untreated. Its lively surfaces help to absorb the medium-height tones. The inclination of the building – based on the increase of the slope – carry the gallery. The seemingly transparent seats, which are fixed on iron swords, appear to float above the light slits. The stage of the concert hall, which is only designed for its actual function not as a multifunctional room, is equipped with modern LED-stage technology.
Peter Haimerl finds several dilapidated buildings in Blaibach. He encourages the community to apply for the Bavarian subsidisation scheme "Ort schafft Mitte" – an initiative to develop centres in small communities. After being accepted for the program, Peter Haimerl is commissioned with the development. The first project phase, involving the energy-efficiency refurbishment and conversation of an old house to a community office, was designed to gently prepare citizens for the more radical concept of the concert hall, which required the removal of the former bakery. The concert hall represents the heart of the urban development to revitalize the new centre of Blaibach. It is located next to the new community centre and complements the space of a new village square that was realized with funds of the state urban development support. The concert hall was to evoke a sense of awakening in this somewhat desolate region. “I wanted to show that classical music doesn’t have to be shown in a heavy, textile-filled environment,” Haimerl says. And so far, the public seems to be responding enthusiastically to his alternative aesthetic. The performances so far have all sold out. The media have dubbed it "The wonder of Blaibach". It is through the dedication of the internationally reowned baritone Thomas E. Bauer and the architect Peter Haimerl that this cultural project has been developed, that a poverty-stricken village in the countryside with a dramatically high level of migration to the cities has been given a bright future thanks to the upgraded town hall, the new concert venue and an elaborately refurbished farmhouse. For building enthusiasts, the village with only 2000 remaining inhabitants has become a manifesto of contemporary architecture; for music lovers, home to one of the most acoustically sophisticated chamber music halls in the world where famous international artists perform. Building engineers, on the other hand, will be stunned by the use of the bespoke thermal insulation concrete.