Spanish Architect Fernando Menis has inaugurated his most complex work to date in the historic Polish town of Torun
The new auditorium in Torun (Poland), a UNESCO protected historic town, expresses a fusion of old and new through the use of historical and contemporary materials. The interior uses brick, a material present on nearly all the façades of the historic centre. The exterior is created with an almost white concrete. As it is cut and carved away, shades of red appear as the lining in its holes. The building’s use of material is a reinterpretation of the traditional use of brick, establishing a parallel between the tectonics of the city and the location of the plot. The interplay of colours, red and white, emphasizes the dichotomy between the modern and historic architectures and the innovations in technologies used in construction.
The project site is designed to exist as half of the area of the site. This frees up the remaining area for a park. A green arc is created with views onto the theatre as well as make the park appear larger. In order to assure that the project does not block views to the river it was essential to keep the building’s height to a minimum. This was also in keeping with the historic nature of the neighbourhood, as the building blends with the site and exists as a natural object.
The concert hall’s outer skin remains rigid while, inside, the building exists as a fluid that brings together the different functions, its many elements different but existing together, slowly combining and playing off each other. Holes and cuts made in the rigid shell allow the red to seep out to the exterior. The program is carefully considered and flexible in nature, the building allows the theatre to create different capacities allowing it to change from performance to performance. Allowing two rooms to act as the main theatre moving the walls changes the number of seats available. It is a building which, thanks to its flexible acoustic system, can be tuned and adapted to each musical program that is being performed.
The concert hall may also be opened to the outside, allowing outdoor performances and the use of the park for events. The design is open and permeable, it allows people to pass though it toward the square, providing a complete and continuous connection to the public.
The CKK “Jordanki” will become an international symbol of culture and architecture for the city of Torun. Thanks to its unique location and strategic position, it is not just a new building, but a single object, an emblem and reflection of the pride of its society.
Commenting on the project Architect Fernando Menis says: “I wanted to make an auditorium that has the best efficiency possible, one that can adapt to different events and various capacities for public, and even to be able to house several independent acts simultaneously. Thus, able to absorb efficiently a varied number of performances, the kind of symphonic music, chamber music, theatre, opera, cinema, musicals… and, at the same time, a place which citizens of Torun can feel proud of.”
The WAN Performing Spaces Award 2016 is open to enter until 29 February.