nfonia Orchestra Varsovia
Author: Tobias Klein and Dietmar Koering with Anneli Giencke and Paul Giencke and Alexey Marfin
in collaboration with Buro Happold
Along with becoming the new home to the Sinfonia Orchestra Varsovia, Warsaw’s1800 seat concert hall is also meant to become a cultural hot spot for the city’s right bank. Situated in the area of Praga Poludnie, the new concert hall is located in a plot of land amongst the historic neo-renaissance buildings of the former Veterinary Institute.
The form of the building is driven by the pre-existing restrictions and parameters of the site. Its square block aspects derive from the dimensions of the green square in the centre of the site. However, whilst the Northern and Eastern facades appear to be the side of a square , the Western and Southern ones contrast in being dynamic and fluid, accommodating more exclusive public programs. Another predominant aspect of the design is the impressive cantilever. This element extends over part of the green park and subtly interacts with the western historic building. Not only can the cantilever be seen from the street as a gentle protrusion of the concert hall into the city, but it also acts as a viewing platform for the spectators of the concert hall.
The building in the day is a stereo-metric volume, underlining the new presence in the historic context – at night though the facade reveals a playful light circulation that allows a gentle wandering through the foyer. As calm and unspectacular the building appears at day, the building volume turns into a lighting parade at night, showing its metropolitan character. Within the Sinfonia, we spend particular attention to the integration between the concert hall and the foyers, creating an interwoven multilayered construct that reveals itself to the visitor along a procession like ascend into the vineyard-like concert hall. The entrance hall itself is a glass volume intersecting sharply the curved main volume of the sinfonia and creating a large interstitial public space over two floors. The Sinfonia becomes a meeting place, a public foyer and an invitation to national and international visitors, facilitating concerts as well as a public program during the year.
The concert hall itself reveals the aesthetic fluid curvilinear essence of the interplay of formal sharp and clear lines as well as the warm and gentle soft flow. The building is in constant dynamic reaction to its environment, playing with the hard symmetry of the urban set-up and the fluid characteristics of its orientation, circulation and programmatic interfacing between the meandering foyer and the hidden exuberant concert hall.