The Visitor Centre is the gate for the spectacular Iron Gates National Park, extending from the banks of the Danube up to the crest of the Banat mountains, in the south-west of Romania. Situated at the confluence of the Danube with the Berzasca river, the Centre enjoys magnificient views of the river banks and of the mountains; it provides easy acces from both the main road and the river and provides spectacular starting points for biking and trekking lanes along the north bank.
The main feature of the Centre is a protruding pier, extending from the linear wooden platform embracing the north bank of the river; atop the pier is the main building – the Open-Air Theatre. The Theatre has 250 places inside the shell, extending to 600 places on the back platform; it is supposed to host the “Danube Festival” and various other events, functioning as an attractor for the National Park Area. The choice of an open-air performance area was ecologically motivated in order to cut energy consumption for environmental control.
The Theatre has a double shell structure covered with white TXActive concrete (Italcementi photocatalytic “smog eating” concrete). The outer shell is perforated along the contour lines of an imaginary alphabet created by the iconic roumanian artist Stefan Calarasanu. The double shell captures the vibration of ever-changing light and the whispers of the wind – transforming the Theatre itself into a living performance. The Centre is located into a clean-cut glazed area situated beneath the stage of the Theatre and is provided with an information desk, cafeteria, gift shop and ticket counter.
The ancillary spaces are situated between the shells; a double flight of stairs is allowing visitors to step atop the outer edge of the theatre, enjoying tremendous views of the park and river. On the north-east corner of the platform, there is a landing spot for the Park’s Cruising Boat; between the landing and the tip of the pier, illuminated panels are displaying photographs, data and maps concerning the park and the surrounding area. Between the northern platform and the parking area, there is a landscaped park acting as a buffer between the traffic and the more tranquil Theatre area.Location: Berzasca, Romania
WAF Entry: 2011