Casa da Música

Place: Porto, Portugal
Date: 1999 - 2004
Casa da Música Architect: OMA, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Scope of work: Acoustic, blackout and viewfiltering curtains, sun-screens; advisory for interior and exterior finishes.


The concept for the curtains in Casa da Música began through Petra Blaisse's advisory role as consultant to OMA on interior finishes and colour schemes. Following this process of consultation, Inside Outside acquired the commission to design eleven curtains for the Main Concert Hall, the Small Concert Hall and the Rehearsal Rooms. Additionally, Inside Outside provided the design for the 'golden pellicle' applied to the wooden wall panelling of the Main Concert Hall. In the concert halls, curtains are steered by motor systems and are deliberately led to hollow walls or cavities above the auditoriums lowered ceilings for storage.


Nine of the eleven curtains are suspended over four massive, corrugated glass windows of the two concert halls, which look out over the city in each direction. These curtains can be used separately or in combination with one another, organizing light, visual and acoustic issues. The remaining two curtains cover walls in the underground rehearsal rooms and were designed to meet specific acoustic requirements. Windows are integrated into the textiles, to allow views from director booths and public areas into these spaces. All the curtains are colourless, which shifts emphasis to texture, structure, degrees of transparency, movement and the effects of layering. The sizes of each curtain vary from 22m x 15m to 65m x 8m.


Team: Petra Blaisse with (in alphabetical order)
Anky Adriaanse, Marieke van den Heuvel, Mathias Lehner and Peter Niessen.

© J.Hommert