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Hannover Congress Centrum

Hanover, Germany, 2016

Opposites Perfectly Combined

For the historic cupola hall of the "Hannover Congress Centrum", Brunner specifically developed a stacking chair sporting an ultramarine blue cover fabric.

There is nothing to invent, everything to be found again.

Luigi Snozzi, Architect, Locarno

With its 3,600 seats, the cupola hall of the Hannover Congress Centrum is the largest concert hall in Germany. The hall, designed by architects Paul Bonatz and Friedrich Eugen Scholer who followed a true archetype, the Pantheon, was inaugurated in 1914; in 1961, it was re-interpreted and profoundly rebuilt by architect Ernst Zinsser. After more than 100 years in use, the historic hall, had to be renovated in 2015, including an optimisation both in terms of looks and acoustics.

For this purpose, the working partnership “Arge Symbiose HCC”, consisting of the two Hannover-based architectural studios Ertelt Laes Architekten and Woelk Wilkens Architekten, developed a concept which emphasises the important characteristics of the epochs the hall was built and re-built in, combining the opposites while at the same time respecting and reinforcing the respective idiosyncrasies. In the process, the historic zodiac reliefs were uncovered and reconstructed. Even the so-called “Goddess of Light”, a stucco relief 6.5m high, is visible again, for the first time since 1962.

For the listed hall, Brunner developed an individually manufactured chair which harks back to the aesthetics of the 1960s. The HCC stacking chair features a delicate four-leg frame and a fully upholstered shell equipped with beech wood armrests. The cover fabric, coloured ultramarine blue, forms a masterful contrast to the mahogany wall panelling. The firmly installed row seating on tiers 2 and 3 as well as the upholstered benches in the pit were likewise refurbished by Brunner and covered with the same fabric. During the inauguration ceremony of the Hannover Trade Fair in April 2016, Barack Obama and Angela Merkel were already able to take a seat on these comfortable chairs.