Muziekcentrum Vredenburg / Music Centre Vredenburg ( H. Hertzberger )
© 2006 Jan Derwig
H. HERTZBERGER, 1973-1979
Vredenburg, Utrecht

Herman Hertzberger

Cinemas and theatres

partially demolished

Bouw 1981-7; 2005-5; Wonen TA/BK 1979-24; Polytechnisch Tijdschrift Bouwkunde 1979 p. 391, p. 432; Bauwelt 1981 p. 300; Deutsche Bauzeitung 1981 p. 1487; M. Kloos - Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, Utrecht, 1985; W. Reinink - Herman Hertzberger, architect, 1990; W.J. van Heuvel - Structuralisme in de Nederlandse architectuur, 1992
The large amphitheatre-like auditorium, which seats 1700, is encircled by shops and other facilities, separated from it by glass-roofed internal streets. Though the regular spacing of columns is most forceful, ancillary spaces do not relate to it but form a conglomeration of disparate 'moments'. A welter of entrances and exits, stairs and refreshment bars are grouped together here and there in 'home-sized' units. The facades derive directly from the functions they front. Unity is achieved by incorporating in the frontage a regular system of identical columns which respond individually to their immediate circumstances. The circular concrete columns and square concrete 'capitals' generate an architectural order of tremendous variety, 'unity in diversity' at a new level. Crowning the roof of the main auditorium is a large square rooflight, a reference to the glass box in Rietveld's Schröder House. In 2005 plans were presented to partially demolish and enlarge the music centre under Hertzberger's direction. Of the original building only the main auditorium is retained. The new design adds a tower of auditoria, each designed by a different architect (Jo Coenen & Co, NL Architects, Architectuurcentrale Thijs Asselbergs). The building should be ready by 2013.