September 24, 2003: Founding of the Franz Liszt Society of Burgenland In 2003 the Franz Liszt Society of Burgenland was established in Raiding, Burgenland, in order to increase interest in the work of Franz Liszt. In order to create an appropriate venue, construction was arranged for a Franz Liszt Concert Hall, which would be next to the house of Liszt’s birth in Raiding.
January and June, 2004: Preparations begin Preparations had already begun by the beginning of the next year. By June, the Society was ready to announce the international architectural competition for the design of the concert hall.
August 12, 2004: Hearing for prospective architects Approximately 150 architects taking part in the design competition were assembled so that they may inform themselves about the Franz Liszt Centre by speaking with members of the jury and the Franz Liszt Society executive board.
October 28-30, 2004: Jury meets In October, the jury nominated three prize-winners out of 141 submitted projects from 11 different countries.
January 26, 2005: The decision A press conference was held to official announce the winning project: the general assembly of the Franz Liszt Society decided on the model put forward by the Rotterdam studio of Kempe Thill. The new concert hall will hold approximately 600 seats and is to be the centrepiece that will define the entire new facility. The jury, under the direction of Viennese architect Prof. DI Hand Puchhammer, characterized the project as follows:
“The triad of white walls, glass surfaces and wooden elements defines the materiality of the place. The simple but noble monumentality, which corresponds with the style and structure of the village, can be easily recognized.”
For acoustics consultation, the Society attained the services of the European dean of acoustics, Prof. Karlheinz Müller form Munich. All of the contributors had a common objective: the realization of the criteria of “Sight, Sound and Experience.”
June 10, 2005: Groundbreaking Ceremony In June, groundbreaking finally took place on a most unique and exciting cultural project: a concert hall, which would emerge directly in the great garden of the birthplace of Franz Liszt. This concert hall should be established as both a centre of international interest in Franz Liszt as well as the venue for a world-leading festival.
February 24, 2006: “Gleichenfeier” – Ceremony for completion of the outer structure At this second ceremony on February 24, the executive board of the Franz Liszt Society, comprised of District Councillor Helmut Bieler, Mag. Michaela Resetar, Mayor of the Parliamentary Assembly Anna Schlaffer, and Director Walter Reicher, spoke with construction contractors. Now that the rough structure had been completed, the executive board gave a detailed view of plans for the interior structure and the program of the Franz Liszt Festival.
June/July 2006: The largest window for the Concert Hall Progress on construction of the Franz Liszt Centre proceeds apace. Just in the past days, the main window was delivered and installed. This window is the largest yet built in Austria. The acrylic window alone weighs 14 metric tons, is 13 metres long and four meters high. Constructed in one piece, it is five centimetres thick and is of one continuous component, with neither vertical nor horizontal partitions. The plates were set together with a special cast and a glass glue used for this type of procedure, which meant the window needed to be installed by crane. Despite its weight and size, under pressure the acrylic plate is the antithesis of conventional glass, allowing it to survive the pressure without difficulty. Another unique characteristic of the Concert Hall, the external covering, works aesthetically in tandem with the new window. In the place of conventional plaster, an injected glue was applied. This produced a special optical effect: it gives the impression that the building was moulded from a large cast. Completion of the Concert Hall is expected by the end of July.