Queen Elisabeth Hall opens in Antwerp

Gramophone28th Nov 2016

The hall will be the luxurious new home of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic

Antwerp's new Queen Elisabeth Hall has opened its doors with a concert by the hall's new orchestra in residence, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, and their principal conductor Philippe Herreweghe. 

The new hall was designed by Manchester-based architects SimpsonHaugh & Partners, and the acoustics of the hall, which is a classic shoe-box, were masterminded by Kirkegaard Associates, who also worked on the recently-refurbished Royal Festival Hall in London. 

Joost Maegerman, general manager of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, said: 'A brand new high-spec building designed to accommodate nearly 2000 people in complete luxury, provide state-of-the art backstage facilities and offer performers outstanding acoustics – it’s every symphony orchestra’s dream, and for the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, it’s come true.'

The new hall was delivered on time and on budget. The Flemish authorities invested just €57 million in the new hall and conference centre, which, for comparison, is considerably less than was spent on the Philharmonie in Paris, which opened last year for around €386 million. 

The Queen Elisabeth Hall features many eye-catching design details, but perhaps the most distinctive of these is the undulating oak panelling lining the walls, which you can see in the gallery of photos above.

Click on any of the images above to open the picture gallery

All of the photos are by Jesse Willems

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