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House of Music, Porto, Portugal

Music is the only sensual pleasure without vice...Hence, House of Music (Portuguese: Casa da Música) will has to contain as many positivity and good emotions, as there are around the globe. The Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas with Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Arup-AFA is fully managed to solve this difficult problem.

It was in 1999 when an international competition was launched to build the new concert hall in Portugal. And Rem Koolhaas famous for the concept of deconstruction in architecture submitted his original design to the competition. It won the contract and House of Music should be built as part of Porto's project for European Culture Capital in 2001. But in connection with very complicated constructive works that must be completed in time the project was finally ready to introduce itself to the public on April 15, 2005 inaugurated by the Portuguese president. It immediately became an icon in the city.

The building's design has been adopted by everyone. Architecture critic from the New York Times Nicolai Ouroussoff considered that it was "the most attractive project Rem Koolhaas has ever built". It's very natural as opportunity never knocks twice at any man's door. It became so popular that it was even compared to Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Berliner Philharmonic. It's really worth to wait...

With this prestigious and high profile project Porto achieves a new opportunity to value classical music.

House of Music consists of two main concert halls and all other public facilities. As for me the building has some mysterious elements that attract everyone. The principal materials are white concrete, corrugated glass, travertine, plywood, and aluminum. The main auditorium, shaped like a simple shoebox, has an initial capacity of 1,238 people. The small auditorium is tremendously flexible that can accommodate 300 people sitting down, and 650 people standing. On August 2006 opened the restaurant at the top of the building with capacity for 150 people. The complex has rehearsal rooms and recording studios for the Porto National Orchestra. This multi-purpose music and arts space received its first award for outstanding contributions to architectural design in Europe in 2007 (the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) 2007 European Award).

By Lilit Khalatyan,



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