Following a design competition won by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Arup in 1999, the vision of Casa da Música was realised in April 2005. To create the unusual structure that would house the National Orchestra of Porto and other ensembles, Arup worked with local Portuguese consultants AFA and OMA.
Polyhedral in shape, the building houses two auditoria, a 1300-seat concert hall and 300-seat multi-use auditorium.
Architecturally and practically, Arup helped create an inviting space. Visitors have access to rehearsal rooms, an 'autograph' suite, top-floor restaurant, 600-space car park and wide open staircases, surrounded by glass.
The physical engineering of the building, and the inclusive atmosphere it encourages, secures its appeal not only to classical music lovers, but to all Porto.