[THEME] Warsaw was born as a small fishing community to become, during the sixteenth century, the capital of Poland. The colors that characterize the city buildings gave the urban center a considerable reputation which was interrupted following the damage caused by the Second World War. The reconstruction that followed the conflict was so faithful that it gave the area UNESCO protection. The Jewish ghetto still preserves the damaged buildings to testify the period of persecutions; Wilanow palace and Lazienki park return a sense of austerity often celebrated by public concerts with which citizens retrace the noble musical tradition started here by the well-known composer Chopin. The Warsaw Concert Hall aims to represent a new icon for the city center, an element of significant value that becomes a cultural incubator for the entire local community. The complex will house inside a large concert hall including spaces for events – rehearsal rooms, recording studios, music shops – where young artists will be able to hone their musical knowledge. An important institution for culture which, in harmony with the progressive approach of European capitals, becomes an opportunity for urban regeneration.

FIRST POSITION: Michael Sarkisyantc_Alina Bichegkueva (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)

Inspired by the music of the great composer Frederic Chopin, the architectural concept of the Warsaw Concert Hall is built on the duality of the context of the city and the cloud. The prevailing development context constitutes the space of the square in which the building appears as a solid and strong volume. The podium separates the building from the square floor, differentiating the urban spaces and the concert hall. A small concert hall hidden in a cloud, a series of places with cultural functions find their refuge here. The cloud – a multitude of suspended cylindrical shapes that filter the light, muffle the sounds of the foyer, creating a veil effect. The route culminates on the roof where the users, immersed in a green space, can enjoy views of the surrounding landscape.


The area under study of the project is the New Town Square in Warsaw created between the 14th and 15th centuries, it constitutes the center of gravity of the New Town. The facades adjacent to the square are characterized by the reference to the eighteenth-century classicist forms; the church of St. Kazimierz and the “WARSawy” theater dominate the public space, restoring the typical austerity of Warsaw. The main factors that influenced the idea were the core values of the local tradition. The entrances have been designed as glass cubes that do not obstruct the view of the historic buildings, the remainder are hidden. Thus a relationship is established between history and innovation which may seem inconsistent but which is instead a manifest desire for integration. The designed object is not a new extraneous structure, but an additional element that respects the place and interacts with it in a non-imposing way.

THIRD POSITION: José Goncalves_Francisca Serra_Ivo Malfeito_Rita Ferreira (PORTUGAL)

The square holds the greatest importance, it was imperative to intervene in such a way as to preserve the hereditary value of the square and not create an obstacle to the square itself. We have chosen to invert the traditional typology of the concert hall and merge it with the square itself, creating a hybrid in which to merge public and private. The building is organized in such a way as to concentrate the public functions on the ground floor and distribute the private ones below. All public programs (music shops, cafeteria and concert hall) were conceived as concrete cubes, each containing curved curtain-like openings as entrances that are accentuated by the slightly distorting curved glass facade. Below, the workshops and musical studios are surrounded by green patios that grow upwards in constant dialogue with the square.


The new icon for the city center safeguards the identity of the place: medieval in its forms and contemporary in the abstraction of the idea. The volume materializes on the image of the medieval carriages that carried the shows around; opens its doors once a day and people outside can watch the shows come to life on stage. Two other rooms, of different sizes, are contained inside and overlook the central atrium, an open space where people can imagine what happens through the shadows that are projected on the semi-transparent walls set up to delimit the rooms. The dark panels that cover the external facades are intended to restore the structural gravity of the medieval constructions they are inspired by while seeking a play of light and shadow on the inside that makes the building contemporary as if to disavow its compactness perceived on the outside.


The building presents itself as a great point of attraction with a program that houses a large concert hall, rehearsal rooms, recording studios, music shops and joint work spaces where young artists can hone their musical knowledge. We propose an articulated building within a dense urban fabric that respects the landscape and tries to allocate the greatest amount of public space at street level by decompressing the urban fabric and maintaining a close relationship with the buildings that the context presents. The building has a pure and rational shape. The load-bearing weft develops by means of a metal structure made up of steel columns and beams. A second envelope comes in the form of a curtain, a double metal skin that allows you to filter the light in a controlled manner and solve the building’s energy needs.

MENTION: Ariel Izraelewicz_Sebastiàn Uriel Brzezinski_Michele Bevivino (ARGENTINA)

The project proposes a ground floor that emphasizes the spatial dimensions of the square: the internal-external relationship through spatial continuity and transparency, the creation of an open-air patio that participates in the public space by connecting with a large tribune and the location of public functions of the building such as the access, the music shops and the cafeteria, are the interventions that contribute to achieving it. The concert hall, raised from the ground with a volume becomes the recognizable image of the building, a podium that emphasizes the concept of Chaim, Life in Hebrew, which the people celebrated through music even in a period of persecution.