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At Long Last, a Concert Hall to Challenge Gehry's Disney

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Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA has long held a pretty singular place in the architecture world, with such an organic jumble-o'-shapes design scheme that it's been somewhat seriously rumored to have been based on a crumpled-up piece of paper. ("Everybody thinks I'm going to crumple a paper," he once admitted when attempting to refute the claim. "Clients come to me and say crumple a piece of paper, we'll give you $100 and then we'll build it.") Well now there's a pretender to the throne of blocky-yet-curvaceous concert halls: Aalborg, Denmark's House of Music, which recently opened to the public after breaking ground in 2010.

The facts: Gehry's Disney Hall opened in 2003, which was the same year that Viennese architectural studio Coop Himmelb(l)au won the bid for the combined auditorium, school, and cultural center. Coincidence? Maybe. According to Wolf D. Prix, design principal and CEO of Coop Himmelb(l)au, the outer shape of the hall was based on music, "the art of striking a chord in people directly. Like the body of musical instruments, this architecture serves as a resonance body for the creativity in the house of music." Uh-huh. Let's go ahead and file that away with all the other red herring explanations from architects clearly looking to beat Gehrbags at his own game.

What's more, Coop Himmelb(l)au once designed a rather avant garde high school in LA, the very same city as Disney Hall, not to mention the upcoming Gehry-designed multi-use development across the street. All that the House of Music needs to do is inspire a high-concept dress and disturb passersby with the glare of its metallic facade and we might have a design deathmatch on our hands.

· House of Music by Coop Himmelb(l)au Opens in Aalborg [Design Boom]
· All Globe Trotting posts [Curbed National]