Lo­ca­ted on the Ave­nue of the Con­sti­tu­tion in the Ca­na­rian ca­pi­tal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava designed a sweeping white concrete concert hall for the waterfront of Santa Cruz. Con­struc­tion began in 1997 and was com­ple­ted in 2003.

Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava
Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava

The buil­ding stands on a plot of 23,000 m² of which the au­di­to­rium oc­cu­p­ies 6,741 m², di­vi­ded into two cham­bers. The main hall or Sym­phony, crow­ned by a dome, has 1,616 avail­able seats in an am­phi­thea­ter and a stage with an opening of 16.5 me­ters and a depth of 14 me­ters. Organ pipes emerge from both sides of the pit, de­si­gned by Albert Blancafort.

Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava
Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava

The cham­ber hall, with 422 seats, re­pro­du­ces the sym­phony hall am­phi­thea­ter on a smal­ler scale. In the lobby, ac­ces­si­ble from two sides of the buil­ding, are the press room, a shop and cafe. The buil­ding also has a dozen in­di­vi­dual dres­sing rooms, as well as rooms for hair­dres­sing, makeup, costu­mes, etc. The ex­te­rior has two ter­ra­ces over­loo­king the sea.

Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava
Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava

The all-concrete building is characterized by the dramatic sweep of its roof. Rising off the base like a crashing wave, the roof soars to a height of 58 meters over the main auditorium before curving downward and narrowing to a point. The building’s plinth forms a public plaza covering the site and allows for changes in grade between the different levels of the adjacent roads.

Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava
Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava

Wide arches, spanning 50 meters on each side, serve as the artists’ entrance. The main public access to the auditorium is placed on the raised plaza to the northeast, beneath the curved and sculpted concrete shell of the roof. Although administrative and service areas and the central auditorium are air-conditioned, public foyers and circulation areas profit from the island’s pleasant climate; as it is naturally ventilated airflow through the glazed areas beneath and between the building’s concrete shells.

Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava
Tenerife Concert Hall by Calatrava