Arsonic, Mons

A home for the ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, or the sparkling establishment of contemporary music in a former fire brigade building.

Information Sheet

New Build   Renovation/Transformation Arsonic

Location Mons, Belgium.

Project Cost 4 million €.

Time Frame Architectural competition: 2009. Design: 2010-2011. Opening: Spring 2015.

Owner French speaking community of Belgium and City of Mons.

Architect(s) Étienne Holoffe, Laurent Vermeersch, Holoffe & Vermeersch, Mons  •  Atelier d'Architecture Laurent Niget, Paris.

Theatre Planner(s) Jacques Moyal, Architecture et Technique, France

Seat Count A 250-seat auditorium for contemporary music with variable configurations and acoustic. Rehearsal rooms, studios and a “chapel of silence” for acoustic installations. Total area 2 500 m².

Uses Home for Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles, the contemporary music orchestra conducted by Jean-Paul Dessy. Experimental audio and sound recordings, installations, rehearsals and musical performances.

Services Full acoustic concept and detailed design of auditorium and music studios. Performance space with a high degree of variable acoustics and flexibility.

Team Eckhard Kahle and Thomas Wulfrank, Kahle Acoustics.

01/10ArsonicView of the concert hall with audience on three sides of the stage. Photo © Rino Noviello
02/10ArsonicView from the technical grid onto one the three possible sides for the audience (here, a 52-seat capacity). Concrete walls are covered with poplar strips. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
03/10ArsonicView on the largest seat capacity side and concrete technical grid, surrounded by poplar strips, before the seating installation. Photo © Jean-François Berhin
04/10ArsonicProjection screen for seat count reduction to close off the audience on one side. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
05/10ArsonicRehearsal of some musicians of Musiques Nouvelles before the opening night. Use of absorbing acoustic curtains, here half-way down. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
06/10ArsonicOpening night with some members of Musiques Nouvelles. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
07/10ArsonicOpening night with the choirs of Mezza Voce and Via Vocis. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
08/10ArsonicSound sculpture for the Chapel of Silence. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
09/10ArsonicCeiling in the Chapel of Silence. Photo © Kahle Acoustics
10/10ArsonicArsonic, a former fire brigade building, is a place entirely dedicated to sound. Photo © Kahle Acoustics