award für marketing und architektur, 2018

category: temporary buildings and exhibition construction

5 / 5

Function: Concert hall
Contracting authority: Tonhalle Maag, Zürich Status: Award for marketing und architecture 2018 Category: Temporary and exhibition constructions
Laudation held by Tristan Kobler (…)
With the constructions for the Tonhalle Maag in the old industrial warehouses, spillmann echsle architekten from Zurich have realised a strong architectural project. The concert hall, with space for 1,200 people, is at once pleasing to the eye, the nose and the ear. Like the belly of well-known string instruments, this wooden resonating body is made of spruce. Other than the size, the differences between this resonating body and, for example, an upscale violin such as the ‘ex-Kochanski‘ of Giuseppe Guarneri from 1741 or the ‘Lady Blunt’ of Antonius Stradivari from 1721 are the age, the design and the price per kilo of the wood. Both of these instruments weigh each approximately half a kilo. Strings included, they both have a price per kilo of the wood of about 20 million Swiss francs. In comparison to that, the resonating body of the Tonhalle Maag in Zurich with around 120 thousand kilos of installed spruce wood, including foundations, cables, tubes and side rooms, has the same price as half a kilo of an upscale violin or even such a violin as a whole. This results in a phenomenal price per kilo for the resonating body in Zurich of approximately 75 Swiss francs.
Within a very short time, the Tonhalle Maag has managed to conquer the heart of the audience, to bring high-quality music to the old industrial building, which has been transformed into high quality architecture, and to attract a lot of attention as an independent brand.
The fact that this is only a temporary arrangement makes the planned farewell in 2020 already hard now, shortly after the inauguration. But who knows, temporary solutions can have a long life. The temporary Globus solution by Karl Egender in Zurich, for instance, has been in use for 58 years – may it stay for a much longer time and affront the intended monotony – and the iron tower for the World Exposition of 1889 still stands in the heart of Paris – 129 years later. Likewise, I wish the temporary constructions of the Tonhalle Maag a long, adventurous and sonorous life with a lot of success and enthusiastic audiences. Long may the sound be heard in the Tonhalle Maag.