Dezeen Magazine

Szczecin Philharmonie by EBV

Spanish architects Estudio Barozzi Veiga have won first prize in a competition to design the new Szczecin Philharmonie concert hall in Szczecin, Poland.

EBV are a young practice based in Barcelona and earlier this year were among the winners at the Young Catalan Architects awards.stettin_1.jpg
EBV are a young practice based in Barcelona and earlier this year were among the winners at the Young Catalan Architects awards.

Below is a statement about the project from the architects:


Szczecin is one of the biggest and most interesting cities of Poland with equable human scale landscape, cut by river and lake waters. At the given site, before Second World War, was situated Konzerthaus which was than destroyed by military operations. We brought back the lost function to the site, underlining the corner and accenting cultural heart of the city all this by strong, spectacular building with a massive emotional load, kind of new cathedral for city.


Our building was born from the enclosing space, from sheer roofs and distinct vertical divisions of neighbourhood residential buildings, neogothic adornments, monumentality and verticality of churches, heavy classicalist buildings, picturesque towers and turrets in the entire city. The same references we found in the industrial Szczecin´s architecture, in port and dockyard, in the arms of cranes and ships masts.


We treated the Philharmonic building as the musical instrument itself. Starting point were organs. Like our building they consist of many small-scale elements which all together create one impressive totality, perfectly cooperating with place where are situated. We were searching for the balance between mass and verticality. Creating a building we came from thin vertical elements which collected together reach bigger elements what all makes one. Directed by expressionistic thinking about architecture, we utilised direct reference to this art movement which like us was breaking the geometry, looking for new rhythm and transmitting emotions, same as the music works.


As the main construction material we have chosen glass which let us to express our idea and create a new quality. To show the contrast to the surroundings we created glossy, shinny, transparent, up directed object. Our building is like a precious mineral, crystal, it changes with year’s and day’s seasons. During the day is shinny light object at the dark sky background. In the night it becomes to be spectacular bright cathedral, light of Szczecin.

Building form is taken from the city but in the same time is in strong opposition to the city current situation. It confronts grey landscape in return underlining essence of its localisation. It is the symbol of what Szczecin is to become, of the city which happens right in this moment.