Today, the two halls have different styles and characters. The foyer presents itself as a mundane banquet hall and has again found the original gilded glory it doubtlessly had when, in 1851, it first opened to serve that purpose. It also boasts spectacular, coloured LED lighting in the ceiling, which can transform the whole room into a more modern café or bar.
The showpiece of the project, however, is the rather austere-looking concert hall. It measures 17 by 26 metres and is approximately 9 metres high. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. It looks most familiar in its ‘standing formation’, offering room for up to 850 concert-goers.
With its parquet floor at street level, the concert hall is also on a level with the foyer, as it had been since 1906. The recent renovation, however, divided the floor into 4 platforms, each adjustable in height. The floor can thus be lowered by 6 metres, transforming the hall into a ‘classical concert hall’ with a grandstand holding up to 392 seats. In this configuration the stage is level with the river behind it.
Both buildings seem to have been re-united once and for all. Through its minute and meticulous restoration, the Handelsbeurs is not simply reminiscent of its former glory but relives and surpasses it. The twin halls today are ever ready to set high standards for contemporary activities, varying from its own concert programme to the hire of auditoria for a range of activities, such as seminars, receptions, congresses and many more.