A harmony of past and present

The Rhythmic Music Conservatory on Holmen, a water-bound neighbourhood in central Copenhagen, is an exciting mix of new and historical buildings. The site has its own unique identity linked to the beautiful surroundings, while the interior is designed and equipped to meet the acoustic requirements of the musicians.

Photo: Poul Petersen & Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The Danish Navy was based on Holmen for many years until about 1990. The buildings were sited along a central axis, which remains the main thoroughfare. Today, many of the buildings are listed and have been converted for other purposes.

The naval dockyard, which was built in 1866, now houses the Rhythmic Music Conservatory, where the priority has been to leave the structure of the building exposed while preserving many of the historical traces from its past. For example, the former engine shop has been turned into a small concert hall, where the brickwork has been carefully cleaned under a vaulted ceiling.

CUBO arkitekter was responsible for the project as a whole, and thus for both the conversion and the new additions. The new wings are in a modern style, and are also oriented to a greater extent towards the gently undulating landscaping along the canal.

Acoustics in every detail
In both the Rhythmic Music Conservatory’s older, listed buildings and in its new facilities, the acoustics have been a recurring theme in the interior design and layout. In the new buildings, the walls are slightly angled to prevent sound resonance, and the ventilation ducts are placed on the outside of the walls.

Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed on all the ceilings to act as sound-absorbing surfaces in the practice rooms, concert halls and songwriting rooms, and to ensure spatial coherence between all the various parts of the buildings. In the large industrial halls, Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural grey harmonise naturally with the other rustic materials.