New Elisabethzaal top of the league in Europe
The new Koningin Elisabethzaal was officially opened in the presence of H.M. Queen Mathilde, with a concert performed by deFilarmonie, Flanders’ Philharmonic Orchestra, in the brand new acoustic temple.
The auditorium is part of the prestigious Elisabeth Center which covers a total area of 25,000 m² and is internationally profiled as Flanders Meeting & Convention Center Antwerp (FMCCA). The beautiful façade of the original building was preserved and, inside, historically significant sections of the building have been integrated into the new building.
Depending on the room design, seating capacity may vary between 1,761 and 2,020 people and the Elisabeth Center can welcome more than 2,700 people.
All possible needs with regard to visitor comfort and stage technology were taken into account. Having won the design competition, Manchester based architecture firm Ian Simpson collaborated with Kirkegaard Associates of Chicago, the world authority in the field of acoustics, and Antwerp research and consultancy agency Bureau Bouwtechniek. Larry Kirkegaard has given the auditorium 10+ out of 10 for acoustics.
The total price tag for the project was 87 million euros. The Flemish government invested 57.2 million euros and the city of Antwerp 3.5 million euros, while the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp (KMDA) contributed 26 million euros in addition to its existing infrastructure, including two buildings acquired on the Carnotstraat for the project.
“The synergy between cultural and congress tourism creates a mutually reinforcing effect and I am all the more delighted that all these efforts are accompanied by a strong focus on sustainable materials and energy efficiency. Undoubtedly a successful marriage with a magnificent and sustainable future lying ahead,” commented Minister-President of Flanders Geert Bourgeois.