Concert hall building of the Academy of Art at Łaziebna street in Szczecin

Bartek Litwinko
West Pomeranian University of Technology, (Zachodniopomorski Uniwersytet Technologiczny), Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, [Szczecin]

Project idea

The design concept for the concert hall of the Academy of Art in Szczecin was based on an analysis of the spatial character of Łaziebna Street. The facility was designed concerning the rich ornamentation of tenement houses flanking Łaziebna Street in Szczecin. It is an original interpretation of the concept of tectonics and stereotomy in architecture and at the same time a reference to the spatial "language" used by Łaziebna Street. The intention was to continue the artistic value of the street in the context of the city and its cultural heritage.
The facility has been planned as a monolithic structure, which undergoes a gouging process to obtain all the necessary rooms and spaces. The assumption was to create a space that changes and interacts with each other while moving around the building and allowing observing the street from different perspectives. In this case, the frontage of Łaziebna Street has become a rock wall in which the rooms related to the functional program are "hollowed out". The existing buildings located on the street are the cultural heritage of the city and reflect in their matter elements that have become a permanent part of the canon of architectural forms associated with European culture, where stereotomy plays a key role. In the case of historical buildings, the concept of stereotomy and tectonics is based mainly on ornamentation. In the designed buildings supplementing the frontage, the author interpreted this term, referring it to the overall form of the building, bearing in mind the honesty of architecture. In the case of the newly designed concert hall structure, tectonics and stereotomy determine the shape of the external and internal space. These terms are no longer related to the ornament attached to the mass of the building, as they become the mass of the building that determines its expression. They are matter reflecting the coherent form of the entire object. As a result, although the designed object does not show any decorative elements present on the neighboring buildings, its shape refers to the value of the very process of producing these architectural elements as the essence of craftsmanship, which underlies the art of building and the contemporary perception of architecture.

Project description

The concert hall building is located in the middle of the old town in Szczecin at the Łaziebna street between two old tenement houses. It is designed as an extension of the School of Arts, so it is going to be used by students to practice playing and improving their musical skills. It is a cameral concert hall with 138 seats.
The main idea of the project was to create space dedicated to the users and this was guided me to decide where should I put two basic functions like concert hall and communication. This starting point was caused by a small dimension of the plot. The concert hall room would be higher than neighboring tenement houses so I decided to place this in the back of the street to save as much as possible wide and high space for an open staircase in the front of the street and create an opportunity to see the neighborhood from various points of view. This staircase determinant locations of all other functions and influenced the shape of the building which can be clearly noticed.

Technical information

The building is planned as a monolithic structure made of reinforced concrete. The facade is based on transparent structural glass fixed to the front elevation. The flat roof above the concert hall works as a steel frame connected to the reinforced concrete walls. In the concert hall room applied retractable seating system to allow using this space as a multifunctional area.