Swiss wartime bunker to be converted into world-class concert hall for Andermatt ski resort

The Andermatt Concert Hall will be a world-class facility set to rival cultural counterparts in Europe’s top capitals
– Christina Seilern

Construction will begin next month on a new concert hall in Andermatt, Switzerland, the town chosen by the Swiss as a strategic military outpost for the Second World War, and which is now one of the country’s largest Alpine resorts.

The project has been designed by London practice Studio Seilern Architects, who have just received planning permission to create a “world-class concert facility comparable to those in European capitals.”

Andermatt is a popular skiing destination and its owners have a multi-phase plan to expand the site to meet growing demand.

A new village square is being built to accommodate hotels, residences and chalet facilities, with Studio Seilern asked to provide a concert hall at its heart to host large orchestra concerts and ensembles.

The architects will renovate an existing building – originally built to accommodate conventions and events – located close to some of the town's historic wartime bunkers. Access points will be added to connect it directly to the adjacent hotels.

The building will be expanded and altered to adhere to the acoustical requirements of a concert hall, with sound reflectors added to the upper reaches and a large section of the roof lifted to above ground level to increase the effective acoustic volume.

The stage will be placed in the centre of the hall to create a sense of intimacy for the surrounding spectators, while the foyer will double as a crossover space for orchestra access during the performances to help connect the audience and musicians.

The raised roof just above ground level will be extended outwards to create a covered plaza, with glass walls allowing daylight to penetrate the interiors. Passers-by will be drawn by the sculptural acoustic reflector, visible from the outside, and will be able to look down into the performance space below.

"It's been an honour for us to work on this exceptionally unique project,” said Christina Seilern, founder of Studio Seilern Architects.

“The Andermatt Concert Hall will be a world-class facility set to rival cultural counterparts in Europe’s top capitals, providing Andermatt’s visitors and residents with a new cultural hub right in the heart of the historic village.”

The project is scheduled for completion in September 2018.

While Switzerland hasn't been engaged in a military conflict for over 150 years, the country is home to a network of hidden military bunkers to offer protection from the arrival of war or a nuclear strike. According to Time Out, it is commonly estimated that there are around 20,000 such shelters spread across the country.

Andermatt  architecture  design  Switzerland  concert hall  Studio Seilern Architects  Christina Seilern 
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Construction will begin next month on a new concert hall in Andermatt, Switzerland, the town chosen by the Swiss as a strategic military outpost for the Second World War, and which is now one of the country’s largest Alpine resorts. The project has been designed by London practice Studio Seilern Architects, who have just received planning permission to create a “world-class concert facility comparable to those in European capitals.” Andermatt
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The bunker will be expanded and altered to adhere to the acoustical requirements of a concert hall, with sound reflectors added to the upper volumes / Studio Seilern Architects
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