In 1988, architect Alois Hloušek converted a 17th-century church in České Budějovice, Czech Republic, into a home for the South Bohemian Philharmonic. This year, the 172-seat hall received a long-overdue renovation—necessitated by its poor acoustics and climate control—by Czech firm A8000. Aiming to return the space to the simplicity of the original spiritual building, the studio took a minimalist approach to the project, emphasizing its lines with a limited palette of materials and colors. A dark wood ceiling was replaced with white acoustical canopies, made from wool-lined MDF boards, while a bulky balcony and tiered boxes were scrapped in favor of smooth, white walls and a slender, bridgelike seating structure that spans the back of the hall. Light-wood slatting on the bridge and rear wall further refine the room’s acoustics and mirror the vertical pipes of the striking modern organ that sits behind the orchestra.
The renovation incorporated cloud-like acoustic panels (1) and a suspended balcony (2) that frames the original stained glass window at the rear of the hall. Photos © Ondrej Bouska