Continuing a series of reviews on recently announced Mies van der Rohe nominees, today we will visit Barozzi Veiga’s Philharmonic Concert Hall in Szczecin, a historical town in the north of Poland. The spanish-italian office have designed a large, massive building with a translucent glass façade, making it an iconic meeting point for the city.
Located in the heart of Szczecin, close to the river Oder, the new Philharmonic Hall aspires to be a symbolic link between the old town’s past and future. The auditorium is built on the site of the old “Konzerthaus”, demolished during World War II, recuperating a historical area and providing it with a new, contemporary urban plaza in order to create a dialog between public space and the building.
The building is shaped as a large, massive volume, configured by the addition of multiple gestures that resonate with the surrounding landscape. Inspired by the verticality of the traditional steep roofs, the town’s picturesque neo-Gothic towers and urban blocks, the building emerges from its industrial environment to form part of the city. Its translucent glass walls reflect light and colour, as a sort of massive crystal that strives to transform the space around it.
The Philharmonic Hall’s façade is specially designed to create the impression of an abstract, homogeneous surface that seems to glow both during day and night. The vertical structure behind the glass panelling holds a simple, yet effective system of double-skin façade that provides an improved acoustic insulation as well as allowing for natural ventilation. The translucency of the chosen materials allow for very different lighting qualities; during the day, the sunlight flows through skylights on the roof – at night-time, a LED lighting system seems to light up the auditorium.
On the inside, the building hosts two concert halls made of concrete; clad in traditional, noble materials as to join contemporary architecture with craftsman’s techniques: wood, tile and gold-leaf gilding. The walls of the auditorium act as a shiny surface that reflects natural light throughout the building, and the wooden cladding provides excellent acoustic insulation.
The concert halls are located separately inside the building, generating many spaces for public interaction. Their differences in scale, acoustic behaviour and lighting qualities make them eligible to host not only musical event, but all sorts of cultural activities and performances.
Images via archdaily
Photography by Simon Menges.