Calculated Scale Jump

Atelier Kempe Thill - Franz Liszt concert hall - Raiding, Austria

  • Clevery calculated constrast between old and new. © Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin
  • Flowing transition between inside and outside. © Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin
  • Crooked wood coffers inside the concert hall create high-quality acoustics. ©Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin
  • The architects have taken the intimate garden location into account. © Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin
The Franz-Liszt concert hall by Atelier Kempe Thill in Raiding in Burgenland in Austria convinces through its simple, yet plain monumentality.


If Franz Liszt wasn’t born here in October 1811, Raiding would be as common an Austrian village as any other. But now, larger groups of tourists and music lovers make a pilgrimage through the 800-inhabitants place near the Hungarian border to visit the birth house, now a museum, of the composer. And for a few years now Raiding is often also busy at night. Since right next to the old building from the 16th century, a large concert hall, sponsored by the EU for the economically underdeveloped region, has been opened. The clearly formulated three-story building by Rotterdam’s Atelier Kempe Thill provides a wood-faced concert hall with extraordinary acoustics and nearly 600 seats.

Significant Scale Jump

At first sight, the huge scale jump of the new building compared with the mostly one-story buildings of the contemplative village is something that confuses people. What first seems to be a large-scale break turns out to be a cleverly calculated scale jump. Since apart from the respectable size, André Kempe and Oliver Thill have definitely tried to get in touch with the surroundings: Hence, the new building has only been opened on the first floor and encased, as it is common in that area, by a white shell. Unlike the plastered façade common for that region, the architects chose a die cast polyurethane shell as a weather-proof finish for the large concrete areas to get the impression of an end-to-end monolithic structure without any roof flashings.

Another unusual detail are the two large-area panoramic windows, allowing a free view from the house’s public lobby across an adjacent little park. In order to save costs and to avoid any disturbing profiles, Kempe Thill used end-to-end acrylic glass screens in the format 18 and 13 meters by four meters (!) with a thickness of five centimeters. The screens weighing up to 14 tons were manufactured out of one single piece and installed on site with a crane. In addition, large barn gate-like wooden doors create a flowing transition from the inside towards the outside during concert breaks.

High-Quality Acoustics

A similarly unusual solution can be witnessed with the concert hall’s equipment. In order to achieve high-quality acoustics without any expensive technology, Kempe Thill decided, similar to constructions in old baroque rooms, to face the ceiling and the walls with slightly crooked spruce wood coffers. The result is an acoustically optimized – and also visually remarkable – sound box for the virtuoso world of sound of Franz Liszt!


Franz-Liszt association, Eisenstadt, Austria


Atelier Kempe Thill, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Completion: 2006


GFA: 16,000 m²

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
Show all 1 comments

Mankotia Karandev

got spacious, accommodating feelings in them!

2 months 1 week 1 day ago

login to post comments