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Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin: an award-winning building with ArcelorMittal solutions
The new Philharmonic Hall is located in the heart of the historic town of Szczecin in Poland and resembles an ensemble of white pitched roofs. ArcelorMittal Construction Poland supplied trapezoidal, corrugated, and flat sheets and composite flooring deck Cofraplus® 60 for this iconic project which won the Mies van der Rohe Award in 2015.
The design for Szczecin's new Philharmonic Hall was chosen in an international competition and is the creation of the Spanish architectural office Barozzi Veiga. The architects, experienced in the design and construction of concert halls, presented a concept inspired by the construction of organs.
The new Philharmonic Hall was built where the town's 'Konzerthaus' was located until WW II. Destroyed during the war, it was finally demolished in 1962. The construction of the new concert hall started in 2011. It covers a surface of 12 734 m2 and two underground car park levels offer a total of 157 parking spaces.
The building is a compact structure consisting of white glass blocks with pointed roofs. These shapes are a response to the surrounding urban environment, mainly consisting of historic buildings with pitched roofs. The building's concrete structure was painted in white and clad in translucent glass. Assembled in perpendicular to the glass panels are white aluminium sheets with a width of more than 20 cm.
An LED lighting system was installed between these sheets and converts the building into a glowing crystal at dusk. This spectacular illumination allows for more than 20 000 different lighting combinations. But the light not only gets out, a number of roof skylights allow daylight to enter the building.
Construction of the project was finished in 2014 - a symbolic year as it was the 130th anniversary of the former Konzerthaus' opening. The official inaugural concert was celebrated on 5 September of the same year.
The main entrance to the Philharmonic Hall, located on Małopolska Street, leads to an impressive and spacious white lobby. With a height of four storeys, it is the largest open space in the entire complex. The main stairs are located just opposite the entrance, and on its right there is a cafeteria, behind which a spiral staircase leads up to a side entrance of the concert halls located on the first floor.
The new philharmonic building houses two concert halls. The main symphony hall has a capacity for 953 spectators. With its 183-metre-square stage and 354-metre-square auditorium, it is the fourth largest music hall in Poland. It can easily accommodate a 120 member orchestra and a 110 member choir. Its interiors are covered in gold imitation: the 3000 m2 of the walls and ceiling are clad with laborious, triangular panels (14 cm x 14 cm), the shapes of which were designed to create a sublime sound experience. As a result, the wall decoration looks like golden origami. In addition, special curtains under the golden panels further improve the acoustics. The seats, specially designed for the requirements of this project, fold up without creating any noise. Natural light enters through skylights and changes the shades of gold throughout the day.
The chamber hall offers 192 seats and was conceived to host small concerts and performances. It is designed as a black box - a window in the back wall lets light into the room.
A multifunctional space on the top floor, just below the pitched roofs, can be used for temporary exhibitions, conferences, and other events. It allows visitors to enjoy art during concert intervals and offers a view of the main entrance hall.
The building also comprises rehearsal rooms, rooms for the artists (including dressing rooms equipped with screens so the artists can see what is happening on stage), storage for instruments, and administration facilities.
The Szczecin Philharmonic Hall is characterised by its multifunctionality. Apart from its main function as a concert venue, it can also host small pop concerts, theatre performances, and music classes for children. Worth mentioning is a bookstore and a common room, where the little ones can attend workshops while their parents are at a concert.
For the construction of this modern concert hall, ArcelorMittal Construction Poland supplied 675 m2 of composite flooring deck Cofraplus® 60 (with thickness 0.75) and around 6800 m2 of trapezoidal, corrugated, and flat sheets for the building facade.
An award-winning project
In 2015, the Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin won the Mies van der Rohe Award, the European Union's architecture prize. It was for the first time in the history of this competition that a project from Poland received this prize.
- 2011 – 2014
Estudio Barozzi Veiga Barcelona
City of Szczecin
©Philharmonic Szczecin Mieczysława Karłowicza, ©ArcelorMittal