- The new campus of the Royal College of Music in Stockholm was opened in summer 2016
- It was built with the goal of being the world’s most modern campus of a music college
- The campus combines historically listed buildings with modern architecture
- Up to 300 free public concerts are organised there every year
My earlier post on 7 places where you can admire modern architecture in Stockholm is one of our most popular ones to date. I believe the structures that you can find in that post are worth getting to know better and for that reason, I bring you the story of one of the latest additions to Stockholm’s landscape. The campus of the Royal College of Music (Kungliga Musikhögskolan) on Valhallavägen is a truly fascinating place.
Before we dive into exploring the breathtaking modern campus, we should get to know a little something about the institution that resides there.
The Royal College of Music (Kungliga Högskolan) educates several hundred students every year in fields such as folk music, jazz and classical music, conducting, music composition, and more.
Apart from that, with up to 300 public concerts a year, the school can be considered one of the largest organisers of cultural, especially musical, events in Stockholm.
The college first moved to its current location in 1956 and in addition to the campus on Valhallavägen, it also occupies parts of the Edsberg Castle (Edsbergs slott) in Sollentuna. After nearly 60 years in Östermalm, it was time for a change though, which is when the new campus that we are mainly interested in was born.
The construction of the campus began in May 2013 with the goal no smaller than that of becoming the world’s most modern higher education institution in the field of music. Both the looks of the campus from the outside and the interior of individual buildings were influenced by noteworthy factors.
First of all, two historically listed buildings, as well as another one of historical value, stood on the property. When it comes to the interiors, modern design features needed to be combined ingeniously with technical needs of the organisation that educates people in distinct fields of music. Not only that but the school aims at becoming both a delightful place for its students and staff and a popular meeting point for the art-interested public.
It is especially important that students of all programmes have access to everything they need and that the facilities match the needs of every particular field of study as precisely as possible. That is why flexibility was perhaps the most important requirement the new campus had to fulfil.
As you might have read in my post on the Royal Swedish Opera, there is more going on behind the scenes of musical venues than you probably expect. The buildings where the Royal College of Music operates can deal with all these peculiarities, though.
The concert halls at the campus were built so that they can be adjusted depending on what music genre in being performed.
The humidity of the air throughout facilities can be held at certain levels to suit both singers and different musical instruments.
The foyer, which is the central meeting point on the campus, was also thoughtfully designed so that it can be easily furnished for various kinds of events.
When the campus was completed, in summer of 2016, it showed us how historic heritage can be combined with top-modern design and technology to form a functional and eye-pleasing combo.
In the main building with the glass façade, you can find three concert halls, including the largest one that can seat 700 people, numerous lecture rooms, studios, administration facilities as well as a restaurant.
Across the campus, the longer, narrower building resides which houses an additional concert hall, and a set of lecture and exercise rooms.
Between the two new buildings, you can admire the historic stable where the school’s library is located today. Two more historic sites, the riding arena and the so-called ‘Yellow Villa’, stand at the northern end of the campus. It is worth mentioning that the ‘Yellow Villa’ was given its original red-brown colour during the recent reconstruction.
The interest the new campus of the Royal College of Music has spawned was also obvious at its inauguration which took place in presence of the Royal Couple.
As I have mentioned earlier in the post, the college organises free public concerts in their on-campus concert halls nearly every day of the year. If you would like to attend one of these, you can always find the current schedule here. Moreover, you can watch a nice video showing off the beauty of the campus on the school’s website. Although it is in Swedish, you probably need not understand anything to enjoy it.
The campus is open to the public even when there are no concerts so do not be shy and explore both the modern buildings and the unique, historic library and perhaps, grab a little something at the local restaurant.
In case you are hungry for more beautiful places to visit instead, you are in luck. A plenty of them can be found in the neighbourhood, including the Stockholm Olympic Stadium which resides right across the road. Another stunning university with a very different style, the Royal Institute of Technology (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan), resides nearby, too.
I hope that this post will inspire you to go and explore the campus of the Royal College of Music, which is one of the greatest places to visit if you are looking for modern architecture in Stockholm.
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Royal College of Music in Stockholm, 2017. [kmh.se].
Kungliga Musikhögskolan i Stockholm. [studeravidare.se].
Nytt centrum för musiklivet i Stockholm. [aix.se].
Nybyggnad av Kungliga musikhögskolan, Stockholm. [byggtjanst.se].