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.
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.
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.
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.
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.