The project for a Concerts Hall in Torun, Poland, designed by the Spanish architect Fernando MENIS, was a winner of the the Award for Future Cultural Project at the World Festival Festival 2010. Torun is known in Poland for being a small town and cared for. Its well-preserved historic center, protected by UNESCO, invites strolling by the cultural tradition that gives fame to it and imagine the time Copernicus lived there.
Jordanek – the plot is on the edge of this bucolic town, bordering the redevelopment of the city. Next to the old wall that was converted into a park and now runs along the middle like a giant green bow, houses a contemporary art center and buildings representing the city with some architectural value. The city required the management of that parcel with a program that includes an auditorium, a hotel and conference center. It was thus combining the requirements of the program with some sensitivity to the delicate environment and cultural landscape in which the organization is inserted.
Half of the parcel area is intended to be a park because the proximity of the green arc imposes the perception of the intervention as that of a large open space. In addition, the panoramic view from the river, regarded as the second “miracle” of architecture and nature in Poland, must be kept intact so it is essential that the height of the Auditorium must be the smallest possible. In addition to meeting the restrictive regulations, the project should be able to develop enough sensitivity in order to emphasize surrounding historic values and respond to new development that articulates.
The Auditorium will decide the fusion of old and new through the use of materials. The interior is of made of brick, a material often found in the façades of the historic center. The exterior made of concrete is solved with white concrete, and lets appear the lining in their holes, like a tear, breaks. The façade reinterprets the tradition of handmade brick while establishing a parallel between the tectonics of the city and the strategic location of the plot. The play of colors, red and white, emphasizes this dichotomy between heritage suggested by the use of brick and modern technology and new urban developments. The outer skin remains rigid while responding, inside with a fluid that brings together the different functions. The holes in this case is where it is possible to perceive the organic and continuous nature of the interior.
For the program, the peculiarity of the solution includes the possibility of joining together the two rooms required, in 1000 and 300 seats, for big sets for shows. The building is capable of accommodating to so many different events and fits, like a sponge, a broad spectrum of situations. It also provides the possibility of opening the concert hall to the outside through the stage. Like a door, this measure complements the openness and permeability of the building, which allows the user to pass through it toward the square, making a total continuity with the surrounding public space.
Location: City of Torun, Poland, Europe
Program: Cultural, Concerts Hall
Architect: Fernando Menis/ Office: Menis Arquitectos
Client: City Hall of Torun
Assistant Arch for the project: Karolina Mysiak,
Coordination: STUDIO A4
Formal services: SEMI P.A.I.U.
Structure project: FORT POLSKA SP. Z O.O. ; Victor Martinez Segovia
Sanitary installations project: BIURO INZYNIERSKIE MARIUSZ ISKIERSKI
Electric instalations proyect: ELSECO SP. Z O.O
Acoustics and electroacoustic project: Pedro Cerdá Lacaci
Completion date of the project: 2011
Completion date of the building (estimated): 2013
Site Area: 13.739 m2 (only the hall); 46.971 m2 (total plot)
Construction area: 21.837 m2 (effective use)Volume: 158.183 m3
Blag. Scale: Stories above Ground: 5; Stories below Ground: 1
Structure: Structural reinforced concrete walls, steel roofs structure, reinforced concrete slabs
Parking lots: 185 Cars
Exterior Finish: concrete and red brick