Casa da Musica wins RIBA European award



The Casa da Musica concert hall in Porto, Portugal, by Office for Metropolitan Architecture has won the European Award at the Royal Institute of British Architects awards, held in London tonight.

The RIBA awards are the precursors to the Stirling Prize award later this year, which selects the best building by a British architect (Koolhaas is Dutch, but that doesn't seem to have disqualified him this year).

Below is a statement from OMA:


Embargo until Friday 22nd June 2007 10 pm

OMA’s Casa da Musica wins Prestigious International Award

(Rotterdam, 22 June 2007) – Today it is announced that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture’s (OMA) concert hall, Casa da Musica, situated in the historical centre of Porto, Portugal has received the European Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

This prestigious prize is awarded yearly for outstanding contributions to architectural design in Europe. The Jurors described Casa da Musica as “intriguing, disquieting and dynamic" and went on to remark that the project “provides acoustically excellent spaces for the performance of all kinds of music, and fulfils another contemporary role as a strange, enigmatic and compelling object in the urban form of the city of Porto."

The European Award is the first major award that Casa da Musica has won since opening its doors to the public in the spring of 2005. Casa da Musica is now in the running for the coveted RIBA Stirling Prize. This award is presented to the architect of a building that has made a significant impact for the evolution of architecture in that particular year.

OMA won the competition for the Casa da Musica as part of Porto’s program to initiate and prepare different urban and cultural interventions for the city of Porto during it’s time as European Capital of Culture in 2001.

The building contains two shoe box shaped auditoriums. The voids created by these two concert spaces is used as a public space with 8 rehearsal rooms, IT and educational facilities, a music shop and rooms with recording facilities. The uniqueness of this building is also expressed through its concrete and glass faceted exterior, complete with an intimate roof terrace that offers views over the city of Porto.

This project was led by OMA partners Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon. Commenting on Casa da Musica, Mr. Rem Koolhaas said “Most cultural institutions serve only part of a population. A majority knows their exterior shape, only a minority knows what happens inside. With Casa da Musica, OMA wanted to address the relationship between the Concert Hall and the public inside as well as outside the building."
“We are proud of the result of this collaboration with the City of Porto. This building offers the city not only a dynamic music hall but also a vibrant public space," Mr Koolhaas said.

Other international awards won by OMA include the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2000, the RIBA Gold Medal (UK) in 2004 and the Mies van der Rohe – European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, 2005.

The winners of the RIBA European Award will be announced at the RIBA National and International Awards Dinner held at London’s Hilton on Park Lane, 22nd June 2007.

For more information: | |

Posted on Friday June 22nd 2007 at 9:56 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Zender

    Casa da Musica is amazing!! This is architecture!!!

  • Raul Teles

    Viva o Porto!!!!!!!!

  • Zender

    Mais portugueses a comentar! Muito bom :D

  • Catati

    É bom que a visitem, assistam a concertos e venham ver e VIVER a Casa da Música. É realmente um projecto de arquitectura maravilhoso, mas não esquecer que é tb um tributo à Música. Parabéns,Casa da Música!

  • João

    Isto está animado! Música e arquitectura, as artes em geral. O Porto está a mexer.

  • Zender

    Ah pois é! E sei de fontes fidedignas que vai abrir daqui a uns meses um estúdio de design industrial porreirolas aqui no Porto!

  • oh


  • dfs

    you can check a video of casa da musica here:

    and more videos rem koolhaas’s buildings here:


  • LRS

    ZENDER, I saw your comment about zaha hadid’s work, a little bit exagerated and violent but, the diference that I noticed in your comments about the ” Casa da música ” led me to send this reply.
    It is not because you have a known project in your home town that it as to be good, and afterall a project that had so many construction problems, with 3 or 4 years of delay , that was to be made for Porto 2001 and didn’t make it, and that the original project was all in glass and not concrete, just because Rem Koolhaas didn’t wanted to get pissed off with the Portuguese goverment, doesn’t seem to be a piece of architecture to be proud of. Even Rem Koolhaas himself explained in is book ” content “, how to make a traditional portuguese auditorium in 15 minutes.
    Are you proud of the disastrous building that you have in your town ? Did anyone asked you if you wanted to have it? Is it realy a good thing to win a RIBA prize ? Why did it win ? You should stop to critic so hardly ohter evolutionary projects, that have they’re own problems and concentrate more in works that are more near to you.

  • Looks a little bit like a Jawa Sandcrawler.