Casa Da Música

by | 30. Jul 2012

Cultural | Feature
casa_da_musica_1.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

The Casa da Música is situated on a travertine plaza, between the city’s historic quarter and a working-class neighborhood, adjacent to the Rotunda da Boavista.

The square is no longer a mere hinge between the old and the new Porto, but becomes a positive encounter of two different models of the city.

casa_da_musica_2.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

By considering the building as a solid mass, from which we eliminated the two concert halls and all other public facilities, we created a hollowed-out block that reveals its contents without being didactic and, at the same time, exposes the city. The building is both clear and mysterious – the diagram becomes an architectural adventure.
/OMA

The chiselled sculptural form of the white concrete shell houses the main 1,300 seat concert hall, a small 350 seat hall, rehearsal rooms, and recording studios for the Oporto National Orchestra. A terrace carved out of the sloping roofline and huge cut-out in the concrete skin connects the building to city.

casa_da_musica_3.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

casa_da_musica_4.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

Stairs lead from the ground level plaza to the foyer where a second staircase continues to the Main Hall and the different levels above. Heavy concrete beams criss-cross the huge lightwell above.

casa_da_musica_5.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

casa_da_musica_6.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

casa_da_musica_7.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

casa_da_musica_8.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

The main auditorium, shaped like a simple shoebox, is enclosed at both ends by two layers of “corrugated” glass walls. The glass, corrugated for optimal acoustics and sheer beauty, brings diffused daylight into the auditorium.

casa_da_musica_9.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

casa_da_musica_10.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

During the Design Phase OMA researched new materials and new applications of existing Portuguese materials. The walls in the large hall are lined with plywood panels that are embossed with a gold-leaf pattern that is an enlargement of the grain of the plywood itself. A baroque organ is pinned to the plywood wall.

casa_da_musica_11.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

casa_da_musica_12.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

One room has pale-blue tiles with religious themes, commonly found in Portuguese churches, another is clad in strongly geometric tiles.

The folded glass “curtains” allow for slightly distorted views of the city.

casa_da_musica_13.jpg

Photo: Charlie Koolhaas

 

The structural heart of the building is formed by four massive walls that extend from the base to the roof and connect the tilted external walls with the core of the structure. The two one meter thick walls of the main auditorium act as internal diaphragms tying the shell together in the longitudinal direction. The principal materials are white concrete, corrugated glass, travertine, plywood, and aluminium.

casa_da_musica_14.jpg

Model photo courtesy OMA

 

casa_da_musica_15.jpg

Image courtesy OMA

 

casa_da_musica_16.jpg

Drawing courtesy OMA Level 1

casa_da_musica_17.jpg

Drawing courtesy OMA Level 3

casa_da_musica_18.jpg

Drawing courtesy OMA Level 8

casa_da_musica_19.jpg

Drawing courtesy OMA East – West Section

casa_da_musica_20.jpg

Drawing courtesy OMA North – South Section

 

INFORMATION

CITY Porto
COUNTRY Portugal
ARCHITECT Rem Koolhaas
Ellen Van Loon
ANC Architects
Jorge Carvalho
OMA

CLIENT

CONTRACTOR

PUBLISHER