Robert Gutowski Architects can beat out Zaha Hadid in Yekaterinburg
Robert Gutowski Architects won 3rd prize in the competition to design the new Sverdlovsk Philharmonic Concert Hall in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Although the top three designs of the international competition were chosen, the Government of the Sverdlovsk Region will decide within a month which design will be used. Robert Gutowski Architects worked with Gade & Mortensen Acoustics.
“Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.” - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Our goal was to create a world-class concert hall that is pragmatic and built into urban life with its pulsating community programs and integrated into the city's cultural life. We took sophisticated care of the acoustical design of the concert hall.
When creating a prestigious concert venue, it is a common misunderstanding amongst architects that serving the audience is the most important aspect. Designers typically think that designing a concert hall is about excellent visual experience, high-class interior design, beautiful lobby area and attractive urban spaces. All of this is of course extremely important, however, at the same time, world-class cultural services can only be provided with an appropriate background. Therefore the infrastructural design is just as important as serving the public.
RHYTHM + HARMONY + MELODY = MUSIC
PUBLIC + MUSICIANS + STAFF = PHILHARMONIA
Just as in a concert hall, the task is not only to create a venue with excellent acoustics for the audience, but also to create a perfect acoustic environment which is required for the orchestra. In our design we wanted to serve the public, the urban community, the musicians as well as the colleagues working in the background, all at the same time. We see this as a long-term sustainable cultural center.
The acoustic design of the large concert hall will incorporate the latest ideas, experiences, and scientific knowledge in order to ensure optimal conditions for performing and enjoying symphonic music. At the same time, we are fully aware of the cultural and historic traditions on which classical music is based. Consequently, the geometrical shape of the symphonic hall is the “shoe box”, which for more than a century has proven to provide excellent acoustics for this genre of music. The rectangular, narrow shape with generous room height is also the most cost effective way to build an excellent concert hall – not least compared to the also popular alternative, the arena shape (as found in e.g. the Berlin and Hamburg Philharmonic halls). The modern “shoe box” design will ensure a rich, warm, reverberant and dynamic sound with good clarity and strong spatial envelopment to the listener. The combination of materials chosen for the hall surfaces and the detailed geometry of these surfaces will be designed to ensure a diffused but still brilliant sound.
Design: Robert Gutowski Architects
Acoustics: Gade & Mortensen Acoustics + Arato Acoustics