The idea to build a new hal for the Philharmonic in the place where the old Concert Hall (Konzerthaus) used to be located came about in 2004. The musicians needed larger and more modern space as the institution had grown out of the then occupied wing of the City Hall. The citizens of Szczecin saw the placing of the new concert hall at the intersection of Małopolska and Matejki streets as having symbolic importance to the musical history of the town. Three years later a contest to present the idea of a new Philharmonic was opened. From among the offers of forty four studios from all around the world, the jury chose the project designed by Barozzi/Veiga studio from Barcelona.
The ice-like shape of the building was hailed the new icon of the city already in the first stage of the works, and the Internet portal bryla.pl
recognised it as one of the most interesting investments in the country. The project also won the first prize in the prestigious Eurobuild Awards 2014 contest as Architectural Design of the Year. The architects did their best to take into consideration the context of the project. The building stands out from its surroundings thanks to its bold lines and lightness but also forms a coherent whole with the neo-gothic buildings around.
The interior of the Philharmonic hides more than 12 000 square metres of space in four storeys, which include a symphonic hall, a chamber hall, rehearsal halls, music shop, cafe, spacious foyer, artists’ dressing rooms, storage rooms for instruments and offices.
The symphonic hall, also known as the Sun Hall, may accommodate nearly 1000 people. The magnificent acoustics of the Sun Hall originates from special geometry of the walls and ceiling, developed by the architects together with Dr. Higini Arau, a specialist in architectural acoustics from Barcelona. All parameters of the symphonic hall (strength, uniformity of sound, delay and lateral energy fractions) produce an effect comparable to the model of such undertakings – the concert hall Musikverein in Vienna.
In the chamber hall – designed for 192 people – the reverberation time is compliant with the project to the hundredth of a second. This is why this hall is known as the “acoustical gem”.
Every day the white facade of the Philharmonic may light up in hundreds of colours in various compositions. The grand opening of the new hall took place at the inauguration of the 2014/2015 artistic season.