Location Lahti, Finland
Status Completed
Year 2000
Gross floor area 13 220 m2
Volume 90 400 m3
Open competition for EU-architects
Wood Focus, 2002

Sibelius Hall is among 10 of the world’s best concert halls

 — The Guardian

Sibelius – Finland’s most famous composer – is being honoured with the building of a wooden concert hall in his name on the shores of the Lake Vesijärvi, situated in the old timber industry area of Lahti.

The totatility has been divided into separate building sections which apply the principles of old factory halls. A unique architectonic character was created for the new section by the timber structures.

Unique timber structures are a feature of the auditorium, which can seat 1250 persons. The auditorium is bounded by reverberation chambers which permit the adjustment of the reverberation time. It is through these timber “cathedrals” that the audience proceeds to the seating area.

“Many auditoria have wooden walls around the stage, but the Sibelius Hall goes one step further by using timber throughout the construction. There is a common misconception that the wooden walls of auditoria vibrate like the body of a violin to create a beautiful sound: in reality, every note the orchestra makes needs nurturing so it can reverberate around the hall. Vibrating walls would just take sound away. The wood in a grand auditorium is either very thick or is just a thin veneer glued solidly onto concrete so the sounds reflect efficiently.”