The Philharmonic Hall Szczecin

Szczecin / Poland / 2014

71 Love 16,869 Visits Published

Urban and Public
The Philharmonic Concert Hall is located in the heart of Szczecin, close to the river that shaped the history of this city. After decades of diffi culties, Szczecin is now in an important moment of transition. With its great historical background in mind, the city is now looking with an open view towards the future. The Philharmonic Hall is the emphasis of this change.

The Philharmonic Hall is build on the historical site of the old ‘Konzerthaus’ that was demolished during the Second World War. The new concert building creates a link to this cultural past and is a new architecture open to the city and its visitors. The project aims to be present in the urban landscape, a reference building that people can identify and orientate with. People can easily meander from the big plaza in front of the building towards the spacious entrance hall of the philharmonic building, creating a continuous dialogue between the building and its surrounding.

Essential and Expressive
The Philharmonic Hall aspires to a pure and clear architecture, which condenses its strength in a few expressive elements. The new building adopted the vocabulary of the city’s historical façades and the surrounded urban landscape. The project extrudes from the shapes of the typical steep roofs, the vertical divisions of the urban blocks, the churches’ neo-Gothic adornments and the picturesque towers scattered through the old city centre. The new building emerges, both in volumetric language as materiality, from the nearby shipyards with its industrial architecture of masts, cranes.

The Philharmonic Hall is gradually being confi gured by the sum of all this. Its towering shapes defi nes the structure of the entire volume. Like a musical composition, its build up from small scale elements which together form a whole. It fi nds a balance between mass and verticality, looking for a new rhythm, between the abstract and emotion.
The project clad in translucent glass strives to emphasises a contrast to its immediate environment. It looks like an immense crystal, a vibrant and almost transparent object whose appearance keeps changing with the refl ections of the seasons, the sky and the city. The Philharmonic Hall will be an entirely new accent in the old city centre, symbolizing Szczecin’s transition.

Function and Use
The Philharmonic Hall is mainly focused on musical and cultural performances. This program will not only be performed in the concert halls but spread out all over the building. The diff erent scales and variations of public spaces, acoustic claddings and studied illumination create the possibility that all spaces can be used as a scenario of diff erent kinds of spectacles and cultural events.

The monumental entrance hall is a large empty space with lots of daylight entering from the skylights in the roof. The hall is shaped by the volumes of the two concert halls and a theatrical staircase. This staircase is a spatial experience in itself, bringing users through the diff erent levels of the building. Passing from the entrances to the concert halls, by the elegant VIP room to a spectacular multifunctional space just below the pitched roof.

This multifunctional space can be used for exhibitions, conferences or other cultural events and has big voids that create views and interactions with the entrance hall.
The concert halls are thought as two boxes suspended inside the building. Diff erent foyers are organised around these volumes creating a spacial route through the building.
The main symphonic hall seats 951 people to enjoy the pleasures of making and listening to music. The space appears as a warm, golden space with the charm of an classical concert hall. The impressive triangular shapes on the walls and ceiling are designed to create a sublime acoustic. Like in the entrance hall natural light can enter from big

skylights at the front and backside of the symphonic hall. This natural light changes the golden surface of along the seasons.The chamber hall has a capacity of 192 seats. This black box has a simple curved ceiling and can host all kind of small concerts and performances. A big window at the back of the audience brings natural light in the space. The new building is the residence of the Philharmonic orchestra of Szczecin including all its functions of repetition spaces, changing rooms, administration.

Material and Technology
The façade of the Philharmonic Hall is designed to achieve a homogeneous appearance, both by day as by night. The vertical shapes defi nes the structure of the entire volume of the building and is refl ected in the silhouette of the building as a whole. The double skin façade gives an intelligent answer on the question how to enclose the building with a uniform appearance, even with a very complex program inside. The double skin provides an improved global acoustic insulation, and has a natural ventilation to avoid overheating.
All around the perimeter of the building a innovative system of LED lighting is designed and turns the building in a glowing light box by night. The roof continuous the same language of colour and pattern as the façade. A multilayered pack with a white corrugated aluminium fi nish clad the big steel trusses. For sustainable reasons diff erent roof packages have been designed with the same exterior appearance and thermal insulation but with diff erent acoustic performances.

The interior skin of the façade was designed to perform as an acoustic wall. Its vibrant vertical rhythm follows the entrance hall, and continuous to the diff erent foyers around the concert halls. The perfect acoustic performance of this walls is adapted for a great amount of visitors and creates the possibility to organise diff erent types of cultural events.
For structural and acoustic reasons both concert halls are build in concrete. The symphonic hall is and open up box: a light steel structure covered with a carefully designed wooden cladding suspends over the audience and orchestra and provides excellent acoustics.
In contrast to the progressive exterior envelope, the focus of the interiors is the use of traditional craftsman’s techniques and materials: handmade hydraulic fl oor tiles, the use of gold leaves gilding for the symphonic hall.



Szczecin es una de las ciudades más grandes e interesantes de Polonia, con un paisaje urbano de escala humana, tallado a través del río y del las aguas del lago. En el emplazamiento del proyecto, antes de la segunda guerra mundial, se situaba el “Konzerthaus”, el auditorio, destruido posteriormente por operaciones militares. Llevamos, tras esta perdida, otra vez esta función al lugar, subrayando la esquina y acentuando el corazón cultural de la ciudad. Todo esto mediante un edificio fuerte, con una carga emocional masiva que será como una nueva catedral para la ciudad.
Nuestro edificio nació del espacio que le rodeaba, de las azoteas escarpadas y las divisiones verticales distintas de los edificios residenciales de la vecindad, de los monumentales y verticales adornos neogóticos de las iglesias, y de los edificios pesados del clasicismo, de las torres pintorescas y las torrecillas en toda la ciudad. Las mismas referencias que encontramos en la arquitectura industrial de Szczecin, en el puerto y el astillero, en los brazos de grúas y mástiles.

De este modo, tratamos el edificio como el instrumento musical en sí mismo.
El punto de partida es el órgano. Como nuestro edificio, un órgano consiste de muchos elementos de una escala pequeña que en su conjunto forman una totalidad impresionante, cooperando perfectamente con el lugar en cual están insertados. Buscábamos el equilibrio entre la masa y la verticalidad.

Dirigido por el pensamiento expresionista de la arquitectura, utilizamos la referencia directa a este movimiento del arte que, como nosotros, rompía la geometría, buscaba un nuevo ritmo y transmitía emociones, al igual que la música.

Para el material principal del edificio hemos elegido el vidrio que nos dejara expresar nuestra idea y crear una nueva calidad. Para demostrar el contraste del edificio con su entorno creamos un objeto brillante, transparente y vertical. El edificio se comporta así, como un mineral precioso, un cristal, que cambia con las estaciones del año y con el tiempo. De día está el objeto ligero y brillante con el gris del cielo como fondo. De noche se convierte en una catedral brillante y espectacular, en la luz de Szczecin.
La forma del edificio se toma de la ciudad pero al mismo tiempo está en la oposición fuerte a la situación actual de la ciudad. Es el símbolo de lo qué Szczecin se va a convertir, de la ciudad que sucede justo en este momento.

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    Urban and PublicThe Philharmonic Concert Hall is located in the heart of Szczecin, close to the river that shaped the history of this city. After decades of diffi culties, Szczecin is now in an important moment of transition. With its great historical background in mind, the city is now looking with an open view towards the future. The Philharmonic Hall is the emphasis of this change. The Philharmonic Hall is build on the historical site of the old ‘Konzerthaus’ that was demolished...

    Project details
    • Year 2014
    • Work started in 2007
    • Work finished in 2014
    • Status Competition works
    • Type Concert Halls
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