Today -10th of December is the day when the Nobel Prizes are presented in Stockholm, Sweden. The date is chosen as a tribute to Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Foundation and the prizes were funded by his personal wealth. He needed to find a way to honour and reward those who serve humanity, thus the awards were born.
The place where the ceremony is held each year is the stunning Stockholm Concert Hall. This hall is Sweden’s architectural masterpieces!
About the hall
It was constructed back in the 1920 and was inaugurated in 1926, the lead architect and designer was none other than Ivar Tengbom. He is well known for popularizing Swedish neo-classical architecture, his work with the Stockholm Concert Hall is the perfect example of this style.
The blue hall is situated to the east of Hötorget, in the heart of Stockholm. The front of the hall faces onto Hötorget, this used to be a hay market and is a very historical part of the country. On the outside, you’ll find a large bronze fountain called Orpheus-brunnen (Orpheus Well) by Swedish artist and sculptor Carl Milles.
The interiors have much softer lighting and features work by Ewald Dahlskog, Isaac Grünewald and more. It has a lot of classical styled furniture and elaborate marquetry on the doors. The hall did have some reconstruction for its interiors in the 1980s, but the grandeur of the hall has never faded.
The inspiration for the hall
There was a Stockholm Concert Association formed in 1902, it was their duty to organize and conduct regular concert activities in the city. Their regular venue was an old and rather worn out auditorium at Norra Bantorget. They knew that a separate concert was much needed. They organized an architectural competition and drew lots to choose the architect for this project. This is how a young architectural professor called Ivar Tengbom was selected.
As the hall was to serve as a home for the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Ivar Tengbom envisioned it as a temple for music, more specifically a Greek Temple. The lighting also fades from the outside to the interiors just like it would in a Greek temple. The wall lights are based on flares, there are plenty of statues of Greek gods and even mosaics of Orpheus. The grandeur of the hall is the staircases lit by huge Orrefors crystal chandeliers.
It also stood apart from the other buildings as it was a democratic place for people to gather. This means that people of all classes of society could enter together and be a part of the events at the hall.
The hall today
Since it’s inauguration, the Stockholm Concert Hall is home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Stockholm. The Nobel Prize is also given out here every year on the 10th of the month.
Apart from this, there are plenty of music show and concerts held by world-famous musicians all year round.
As Julia Morgan said, ‘Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.’ To truly experience the building, you must visit it when you get the chance.