location: Porto, Portugal
This part of Porto was still a city ‘’intact’’, OMA chose not to articulate the new concert hall as a segment of a small scale circular wall around the Rotunda da Boavista but to create a solitary building standing on the new, more intimate square connected to the historical park of the Rotunda da Boavista and enclosed by three urban blocks. With this concept, issues of symbolism, visibility and access were resolved in one gesture. Through both continuity and contrast, the park on the Rotunda da Boavista, after our intervention, is no longer a mere hinge between the old and the new Porto, but it becomes a positive encounter of two different models of the city. This century has seen an architecturally frantic attempt to escape from the tyranny of the notorious ‘’shoe-box’’ shaped concert hall. However, after researching the acoustic quality of existing concert halls we had to conclude together with our acoustic specialist that the best halls in the world have a shoe box shape. Most cultural institutions serve only part of a population. A majority knows their exterior shape, only a minority knows what happens inside. OMA addressed the relationship between the Concert Hall and the public inside as well as outside the building by considering the building as a solid mass from which were eliminated the two shoe-box-shaped concert halls and all other public program creating a hollowed out block. The building reveals its contents to the city without being didactic; at the same time the city is exposed to the public inside in a way that has never happened before. The ‘’remaining spaces’’ between the exposed public functions consist of secondary serving spaces such as foyers, a restaurant, terraces, technical spaces and vertical transport. A continuous public route connects all public functions and “remaining spaces” located around the Grand Auditorium by means of stairs, platforms and escalators: the building becomes an architectural adventure. The loop creates the possibility to use the building for festivals with simultaneous performances; the House of Music.
project: Casa da Música
status: competition 1999, 1st Prize completion spring 2005
client: Porto 2001 / Casa da Música
location: Porto, Portugal
site: Rotunda da Boavista
program: Main Building: 22.000 sqm, Grand Auditorium 1.300 seats, Small Auditorium 350 seats, 8 Rehearsal Rooms with recording facilities, Music shop, Cyber and Educational facilities, VIP room, Restaurant and Roof Terrace; Parking for 600 cars (27.000 sqm)
design: OMA – Office for Metropolitan Architecture
partners-in-charge: Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon
project architects: Adrianne Fisher, Michelle Howard
competition: Rem Koolhaas, Fernando Romero Havaux, Isabel Silva, Barbara Wolff, Uwe Herlijn
team: Isabel Silva, Uwe Herlijn, Nuno Rosado, Robert Choeff, Barbara Wolff, Stephan Griek, Govert Gerritsen, Saskia Simon, Thomas Duda, Christian von der Muelde, Rita Amado, Philip Koenen, Peter Müller, Krystian Keck, Eduarda Lima, Christoff Scholl, Alex de Jong, Alois Zierl, Olaf Hitz, Jorge Toscano, Duarte Santos, Nelson Carvalho, Stefanie Wandinger, Catarina Canas, Shadi Rahbaran, Chris van Duijn, Maria Baptista, André Cardoso, Paulo Costa, Ana Jacinto, Fabienne Louyot, Nicolas Firket, Christina Beaumont, Anna Little.
local architect: ANC Architects, Jorge Carvalho, Teresa Novais
structure: Arup London / AFA Lda, Cecil Balmond, Rory McGowan, Asim Gaba, Toby Maclean, Andrew Minson, Rui Furtado, Rui Oliveira, Pedro Moás, Sérgio Vale, Sara Caetano, Jorge Carneiro, Filipe Ferreira, Diogo Vasconcelos
photos: Philippe Ruault