25.2.2008

Philharmonie in Szczecin, Poland

Szczecin is one of the biggest and most interesting cities of Poland with an equable human scale landscape, shaped by river and lake waters. At the given site, before Second World War, there was situated the Konzerthaus which was than destroyed by military operations. We brought back the lost function to the site, underlining the corner and accenting the cultural heart of the city. all this by a strong, spectacular building with a massive emotional load, kind of a new cathedral for the city.

Our building was born from the enclosing space, from sheer roofs and distinct vertical divisions of neighbourhood residential buildings, neogothic adornments, monumentality and verticality of churches, heavy classicalist buildings, picturesque towers and turrets in the entire city. The same references we found in the industrial Szczecin´s architecture, in port and dockyards, in the arms of cranes and ships mast

We treated the Philharmonic building as the musical instrument itself. Starting point were organs. Like our building they consist of many small-scale elements which all together create one impressive totality, perfectly cooperating with the place where they are situated. We were searching for the balance between mass and verticality. Creating a building we came from thin vertical elements which collected together reach bigger elements that all makes one. Directed by expressionistic thinking about architecture, we used direct reference to this art movement which like us was breaking the geometry, looking for new rhythm and transmitting emotions, same as the music works. As the main construction material we have chosen glass which let us express our idea and create a new quality. To show the contrast to the surroundings we created glossy, shinny, transparent, up directed object. Our building is like a precious mineral, crystal, it changes with year’s and day’s seasons. During the day it is a shiny light object against the background of the gray sky. In the night it becomes a spectacular bright cathedral, light of Szczecin.

The building form is taken from the city but in the same time it is in strong opposition to the cities current situation. It is the symbol of what Szczecin is ment to become, of the city which happens right in this moment.

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