This music studio in Utrecht features an exterior façade clad in recycled plastic planks and a design that was carefully conceived with respect for its surrounding neighborhood. Designed by Architecten van Mourik, a Dutch firm, the Centrum Muziek XXI, is a small-scale music studio perfect for small music ensembles. Rather than build up and block the neighbor's sun, the studio was built with a 45 degree corner cut off so the sun would still reach into their gardens. The center also features windows that vary in thickness depending on how much sun protection is needed for each space.
The site for the music studio is located near a water purification plant that was considered far too noisy for residential housing to be constructed around. However the site was also part of a large urban renewal plan called the ‘Hoogstaat aan de Vecht’, and it was deemed to be an appropriate location for a cultural center. Situated adjacent to a residential area, the new music center serves to buffer the homes from the noise while at the same time providing an active cultural center for area residents.
Architecten van Mourik designed the building to maximize volume and space for offices and music studios without impacting the adjacent homes. In order for the neighboring homes to maintain their solar access, the corner of the building was loped off at a 45 degree angle. Inside, the center features a large music hall, two smaller studios, office and meeting space and storage. Acoustics are enhanced by a special ‘box in box’ construction of the musical spaces.
The exterior is clad in recycled plastic planks with a green tint. The rooms that require sunlight (offices, entrance, stairs and foyer) are daylit and clad with varying shades of green tinted glass. The tint results from the thickness of the glass and a reflective coating that limits the amount of sun that can penetrate through the four individual glass facades.
Completed in 2009, the Centrum Musziek XXI in Utrecht serves as a striking building that introduces a cultural focus to a residential area. The building pays respect to its neighbors in regards to acoustics and solar access and it makes beautiful use of recycled materials.
Images © Dirk Vroemen