Barcelona-based firm Barozzi/Veiga snatched the premier architectural award given by the European Union this year, the 2015 Mies van der Rohe Award, for its work on the Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin, Poland.
This year, 420 projects were considered, Archinect reports. The number was cut down to 40, and then five finalists were chosen to compete for the first place €60,000 award.
According to Dezeen, the hall won against O’Donnell + Tuomey’s red brick student center at the London School of Economics and BIG’s Danish Maritime Museum in Helsingør.
The selection jury included Italian architect Zino Zucchi and the RIBA’s Tony Chapman, who visited all five finalists.
The building replaced the former WWII-era Konzerthaus of Szczecin. Studio Barozzi/Veiga’s building opened in September 2014. According to Archinect, the hall accommodates 1,000 spectators and includes a chamber hall for 200 spectators, a multifunctional exhibition and conference space, and a grand foyer that can be used to host functions.
From the jury:
The plan composition is defined by a perimetral ring. This element mostly hosts service spaces. On the one hand this allows to define a large void within which gravitate the symphony hall and the hall for chamber music, on the other hand to shape the relationship of the building with its surroundings. The serial modulation of the roof represents the only other expressive element, that permits the integration of the building within the fragmented urban profile of the city.
In its materiality, the building is perceived as a light element: the glass facade, illuminated from inside, depending on the use allows different perceptions. The exterior austerity and the simple composition of the interior circulation spaces contrast with the expressiveness of the main hall. In accordance with the central European tradition of the classical concert halls, decoration becomes ornament and function. The hall is composed following a Fibonacci sequence whose fragmentation increases with the distance from the scene, and gives shape to an ornamental space which reminds of the classical tradition through its gold-leaf covering.
The building predominantly adopts passive systems of energetic control. The main element is the double skin façade channeling a large part of the installation system to provide a global acoustic insulation and a natural ventilation to avoid overheating. Illuminated by a LED system, it turns the building in a glowing volume with a minimum energy consumption. The roof cladding is a multilayered pack, with differences over the concert hall than other zones, to optimize acoustics and thermal insulation.