The award-winning practice has designed an acoustically optimised outdoor performance space, located in Kasprowicza Park, Szczecin. The brief called for design proposals to maximise the flexibility of the 1976-designed theatre for a variety of performances on the stage, and to add a new roof to enclose both the stage and the audience. The underside of the roof, which covers the stage and front of auditorium, will enhance and project the natural acoustic for orchestral events. This is achieved by a roof which is structurally independent of the existing arch, and is formed by a curved truss which serves as the edge beam to a single cable net structure. This net supports a series of inflated fabric roof panels and suspended acoustic reflectors. Two additional trusses span the stage to support the load of the lighting grid.
Photo Above: Summer Theatre © Flanagan Lawrence
“The doubly-curved roof form follows the natural slope of the amphitheatre on the existing hillside to retain the views across the park, and then dramatically lifts over the stage to provide the necessary height for the performance area.” The back of the stage is enclosed acoustically by curved glazed screens, which offer picturesque views out to Rusalka Lake and create a scenic backdrop to performances.
Flanagan Lawrence’s proposal will also up grade the 2,500 seat structure with additional facilities including a box office, bathrooms, a café and a refurbished backstage area. The original structure, including the concrete arch, was designed by Zbigniew Abrahamowicz and opened in 1976.
Client: The City of Szczecin (Gmina Miasto Szczecin) / Architects: Flanagan Lawrence / Acoustics: Arup / Structural Engineers: Expedition / Cost: 12million Polish zloty (zł) (Circa £2.4m) / Area of site: 16659 sq m / Expected completion date: 2018.