Pure musical enjoyment and a new landmark in the Baltics: "Latvija" music school and concert hall in Ventspils with impressive and excellent acoustics

Grand opening with inauguration of the Klais organ on July 25, 2019

On July 25, 2019, in the course of the festivities marking Latvia's 100th anniversary, the new music school including a concert hall has been inaugurated. Stuttgart-based architects haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050 designed the building as well as the adjoining plaza with an open-air stage and a fountain. Construction works started in the fall of 2016 and took about three years. The folded roofscape forms the building's characteristic identity and has already become a new landmark of the city. Among other things, the excellent acoustics inside the building – for which the Müller-BBM team was responsible – is very impressive.

© Raimonds Birkenfelds | Ventspils music school, exterior view.

In addition to the traditional concert hall seating an audience of 600 – its shape resembles a violin – the music school also includes a small rehearsal and performance hall, a music library as well as numerous rehearsal rooms on a total of three floors. The spatial impression is characterized by the contrast of open foyer areas which surround the functional spaces. The terraces form a direct connection to the adjacent park.

In Latvian culture and society, music plays a fundamental role. Not least because of that, the new musical complex at Lielais Laukums, a spacious square directly south of the historic old town, will attract people from the entire region as well as tourists interested in music.


© Raimonds Birkenfelds | Ventspils music school – foyer.

The concert hall is located in the center of the building and the music school rooms as well as the small hall are arranged around the concert hall on a total of three floors. This way, the concert hall is well protected against any exterior noise. With a volume of more than 8,000 m³, the acoustics in the concert hall is excellent, does not require any amplification during concerts and also ensures a strong and pleasant distribution of sound, resulting in a perfect sound development. Even for the fully occupied concert hall, the reverberation times are ideal.

The concert hall is equally suited for soloist and organ concerts as well as for works for large orchestras. The tiered seating resembles a logarithmic spiral. Müller-BBM has optimized the seating in terms of acoustics. The lower part of the concert hall walls is lined with diffusely sound reflecting panels, the upper part with acoustically transparent wooden lamella. By means of the large, variable curtains installed behind the cladding, the concert hall acoustics can perfectly be adjusted to all types of amplified performances.

© Raimonds Birkenfelds | Ventspils music school, concert hall – audience area.

Furthermore, two internationally unique musical instruments are installed in the concert hall: a pipe organ by the German organ builders Johannes Klais, and the impressive 4.7 m high piano "470i" by Latvian piano maker David Klavins.

Iveta Apkalna has inaugurated the new Klais organ during the opening on July 25, 2019. The Latvian organist is said to be one of the leading instrumentalists worldwide.

© Raimonds Birkenfelds | Ventspils music school, concert hall – podium with the organ console.

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