Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space
by Coop Himmelb(l)au


Austrian architecture firm COOP HIMMELB(L)AU have unveiled their design for a temporary pavilion for the Munich Opera Festival 2010.

Called Pavilion 21 Mini Opera Space, the mobile aluminium structure will seat 300.

Made up of pyramids, the form is designed to increase its surface area and reflect external sounds.

Images are by ISOCHROM.

Here's some text from the architects:


COOP HIMMELB(L)AU presents design of 'Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space' in Munich, Germany

Wolf D. Prix, Design Principal and CEO of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU presented the design for 'Pavilion 21 MINI Opera Space' for the Bavarian State Opera during a press conference in Munich in attendance of Bavarian State Minister for Sciences, Research and the Arts, Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch, Director of the Bavarian State Opera, Nikolaus Bachler as well as the Senior Vice President Brand Management of MINI, Dr. Wolfgang Armbrecht.

The task was to develop a temporary 300 seat Pavilion for the Munich Opera Festival 2010 with a multifunctional stage. Though being one of the smallest projects the Pavilion is one of the most exciting ones the design studio is working on. There is a contradiction between the requirements for mobility on the one hand and excellent acoustics on the other: mobile lightweight construction is usually not suitable for acoustic spaces which require physical mass.

As it is the case with the three opera and concert halls in China, Denmark and Spain which COOP HIMMELB(L)AU is currently planning and constructing, the acoustical properties of a space can be enhanced by tilted walls and increased surface area. Another design strategy is also to reduce the influence of external sources of sound. The Pavilion which is 21 meters long, 17 meters wide and between 6 and 8 meters high will be positioned in such a way on the Marstallplatz that it will act more as a sound reflector than as a barrier to the sound of the cars passing by.

The new digital design methods are highly appropriate to implement in a practical way the idea of surface enlargement designed as pyramid-shaped aluminum structures. Those have been generated parametrically through the overlay of sound frequencies from Jimi Hendrix’ song"…’Scuse me while I kiss the sky..." and Mozart’s opera "Don Giovanni". These shapes act either as sound reflectors or as sound reducers. The arrangement of these elements creates an iconic building consistent with COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s principle to synergetically combine idea, form and content.

Posted on Tuesday November 17th 2009 at 3:20 pm by Ruth Hynes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • ste

    why does it look like a cube with some patterns in the inside and really weird on the outside?? is the whole crystal thing jsut a 2nd skin? would really appreciate plans!

  • Nathan

    wow, looks like it could take someones eye out, reminds me of superman’s artic fortress

  • rude

    why not using britney spears and bon jovi!

  • Tyler

    “Made up of pyramids, the form is designed to increase its surface area and reflect external sounds.” … and also impale any careless passersby.

  • jessias

    where have the formerly heroes drifted?

  • Evan


  • AJ

    Interesting design.. but would have really appreciated some plans and sections!!

  • nicorola

    sculpture, right


  • It might impale a Neanderthal. You’d have to be about 10m tall to get hurt. I would love to see the process for this one, I’m a HUGE fan of Wolf Prix. This one seems to be his most vague…

  • recon::decon

    Did they just hire Daniel Libeskind as project designer or something?

  • münte

    looks like this looks like that,…can´t hear this anymore!

  • bob


  • andre

    just awful..
    no correlations between interior and exterior ; the entrance is grotesque..
    no sensitiveness ;
    no relations with surroundings .An UFO just land there ! Hopefully, for all, will leave soon!

  • Patricia

    Like all Coop Himmelb(l)au´s projects, it is all about sculpture. Weak concept, lots of technology and no architecture….

  • testek

    at least it’s not ‘eco’. these guys are really working on their carbon footprint. me, i appreciate this post-eco-post-crisis approach. let’s all get wasted.

  • roman kralya

    too aggressive!

  • Nick


  • marwa altamimi

    I liked the way they emphasised the entry door and that they didn’t let the inner space be destroyed by the sharp pyramids outside, but they used this shape to let the light into the space in artificial way.