Casa da Música (House of Music)
In 1998, the cities of Porto and Rotterdam were chosen as European Capitals of Culture for 2001. This announcement set in motion a long and complex process of resource management, creation of artistic, social and educational programs under the responsibility of the newly created Porto 2001, S.A.. Amongst other initiatives the promising idea of Casa da Música arose: a building of unique characteristics where the music would have a home.
From the outset the concept of a public-private space began losing ground to the possibility of a single program, capable of responding to the real needs of the Portuguese audiences. When the Ministry of Culture, then led by Manuel Maria Carrilho, embraced this idea, the creative machine was ready to boot.
In March 1999 the agreements regarding the disposal and usufruct of the land for the building were negotiated between Porto 2001, S.A. and the Municipality. At the time, the choice was quite publicized because it forced the demolition of the tram’s terminus station, which belonged to Porto’s public transports company. Other possible sites were considered but the final conclusion was that precisely the very location of this land – and, hence, the future Casa da Música – would imprint on all the surrounding area an urban renewal and social dynamics much needed. The building that existed was already in an advanced state of degradation and its historical value was considered minor, compared to the new icon that would arise.
In mid-1999 the architecture tender for the project of Casa da Música began. In addition to a demand to limit applications to professionals who had proven their proficiency in architectural projects of buildings designed for the same purpose and of similar greatness, the best amongst the best were invited: Hadid, Zumthor, Foster, Siza Vieira, Koolhas, Herzog and de Meuron, to mention just a few. A total of 26 applications, of which only 15 were foreign. Given the short duration of the bidding process, which would conclude in six months, the vast majority gave up, moving on to the second phase seven architects (Dominique Perrault, Norman Foster, Peter Zumthor, Rafael Moneo, Rafael Viñoly, Rem Koolhas and Toyo Ito) and for the third and last only three. The projects presented were designed by Dominique Perrault, Rafael Viñoly and Rem Koolhas.
Much controversy was raised around the choice of the winner. The Evaluation Committee consisted of Pedro Burmester, Nuno Cardoso, Manuel Correia Fernandes, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Ricardo Pais, Manuel Salgado, Artur Santos Silva and Álvaro Siza Vieira. If in some technical aspects the projects of Perrault and Viñoly were very competent, they were also milder in form and aesthetic expression. Koolhas’ project allowed for a multipurpose adaptation of internal and external spaces of the building, a fluent and coherent language in the use of easily maintainable materials and, above all, a distinguishable singularity. The strong visual dominant of the building would weigh on its choice, in accordance with the “Porto 2001” assumed purpose of seeking a new identity for the city, a milestone, an icon and a landmark.
What are the opening hours of the ticket office?
Casa da Música’s ticket office is open every workday , between 9:30am and 7:00pm. On weekends and public holidays it is open between 10:00am and 6:00pm. On performance days, it remains open until 30 minutes after its beginning.
Which payment methods are acceptable at the ticket office?
You can use cash, ATM, Visa or check. Can I make ticket reservations? How? Yes. Reservations for performances can be made in person at the ticket office of Casa da Música, or by calling 220 120 220.
What is the policy of Casa da Música regarding reservations?
Reservations are valid for up to 7 days. If they are made in the 7 days preceding the performance they will remain valid up until 48 hours before its beginning.
How can I buy tickets for the performances?
You can purchase the tickets at the ticket office, Worten stores or through our website.
Buy tickets at Casa da Música
Can I buy tickets online? How?
Yes, through the website www.casadamusica.com . You must first register as a user if you haven’t already done so. You should go to the home page and at “shopping cart” you must select your account or make a new register. Then, you must select the performance you want and follow the instructions given. Tickets bought through the website are sent via e-mail to the buyer. You need only to print them to gain direct access to the performance(s), without need to go to the ticket office. If in the same transaction you buy tickets for different dates, we recommend that you save the e-mail sent and print the tickets in accordance to your convenience. If you benefit from a discount, you must present the necessary identification documents at the admission to the performance. The printed tickets must allow for the reading of barcodes. If this is not the case you may have to go to the ticket office to exchange the tickets.
Is buying tickets online safe?
Yes, it is. Casa da Música guarantees complete safety on its online ticket purchases. You can check the security protocol on our website under “Terms and conditions”.
Which discounts are available for the shows?
Casa da Música offers the following discounts:
Remix, Coro, Ciclo Piano e Sinfónica (except for Sunday Symphonic)
BPI Client – 20%
Under 25 years old – 50%
Music teachers and students – 50%
Over 65 years old – 15%
BPI Client – 20%
Under 25 years old – 15%
Over 65 years old – 15%
Continente Card: one adult ticket = 2 free access ticket for people under 18 years old
To benefit from these discounts the relevant document for proof of age must be presented when entering the performance.
Casa da Música Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take photographs or make audio or visual recordings of the performances?
No, you cannot, except when duly authorized by Casa da Música.
Can I request the return or exchange of tickets already purchased?
No, you cannot, except if the performance does not occur at the place, date and time previously set, if there is a replacement of the main artist(s) or if the performance is interrupted, and in both these last situations only if the replacement or interruption is not derived from events beyond the management’s control occurred after the beginning of the show.
Can I receive the programming of Casa da Música via e-mail? How?
Yes, you can. To do so you must login through the website www.casadamusica.com or request to be registered in our database at the ticket office or information point, or through the call center 220 120 220.
Is it possible to take guided tours of Casa da Música?
Casa da Música has a diversified range of guided tours available to satisfy even the most demanding public.
What are the schedules of the guided tours?
Daily Portuguese 11am | 4 pm
English 11 AM | 4PM
What are the prices of the guided tours?
The ticket price of the guided tour is €7,50 per person and free for children under the age of 12 when accompanied by an adult with a ticket. We suggest that you purchase the ticket up to 10 minutes previously to the tour beginning.
Is there an accessible car park?
Yes, there is a car park on the lower floors of Casa da Música (floors -1, -2 and -3), with 644 parking spaces.
How to get to Casa da Música (House of Music)
Metro, Bus or Car
Avenida da Boavista, 604-610
4149-071 Porto, Portugal
Lines A, B, C, E and F
Operating hours: 6:00 am / 1:00 am – every day
STCP – Bus n. 201, 202, 203, 204, 208, 209, 303, 402, 501, 502, 503, 504, 507, 601, 803, 902, 903
GPS coordinates: 41.158400, -8631000 +41º 9′ 30.24”, -8º 37′ 51.60”
Monday to Saturday: 09: 30-19: 00
Sunday and Holidays: 09: 30-18: 00
Days of Show: Building open until the end of the show, ticket office and shop opened until half an hour after its beginning.
Mon-Wed 12: 30-15: 00 | 19: 30-23: 00
Thu-Sat 12: 30-15: 00 | 19: 30-00: 00
Sundays and Holidays Closed.
On concert nights, Barra Bar ends one hour after the end of the concert.
CALL CENTRE / BOX OFFICE
(+351) 220 120 220
(+351) 220 120 210
Casa da Música SHOP
(+351) 220 120 228
Please visit Casa da Música´s website for more details and information.
Text Source: Casa da Música´s website
Photo credits: Público, A Caixa Negra