words Sarah Khan
On 1 March the Haus für Musik und Musiktheater by the Dutch architecture firm UNStudio opened in Graz, Austria. "I had an amazing time, it was wonderful music and great to see that as an architect you can still learn from music," says UNStudio's Ben van Berkel of the opening that saw the faculty's students perform Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Although UNStudio won the architecture competition for Haus für Musik und Musiktheater, or MUMUTH, nine years ago, it took five years for the project to start construction and until now to be a fully functioning space. "When you first enter the building you think that, wow, you are apart of the music itself," says van Berkel referring to the twisted, structural forms that make up the lobby and public areas of the building.
The exterior is a more sober experience and resembles a rectangular box bursting at the seams, van Berkel refers to it as a "blob to box". Its steel mesh facade appears closed in daylight, but opens up to the light and music inside at night.
The MUMUTH will serve as a faculty building for the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and a space where its students can connect with a broader audience. Upcoming events include St. John Passion BWV 245, with a stage set by Ben van Berkel himself.