“The building is a success story – and that is not something one can take for granted.” Steven Sloane, musical director of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra, makes a deeply satisfied impression when he talks about the new home created for his orchestra. The “Bosys”, as they are known, are the sole users of the concert hall, which meant that it could be precisely tailored to the needs of this orchestra.

What is more, the Music Forum Ruhr, inaugurated a year ago, has been housed in the municipal music school; whereby the financial resources expended were decidedly modest: the entire building cost only €34 million. Nevertheless, a project of this nature could not have been implemented without the participation of numerous private sponsors and dedicated citizens. Even today, their identification with the scheme is a guarantee of its success: every concert is sold out until the middle of next year.

The Music Forum Ruhr presents itself as an ensemble comprising two horizontal, low-rise cubic blocks in brickwork set on each side of the neo-Gothic structure of what was formerly St Mary’s Church. This somewhat surprising arrangement reveals itself to be both simple and logical. With the words “the church in the middle”, Thorsten Kock expresses clearly and precisely the urban concept with which Bez and Kock Architects won the international competition in 2012.