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Spanish Architecture, picado and Beethoven in Toruń

   Over 1,000 m2 for 880 spectators, mobile seats and ceilings – that is what the multifunctional concert hall Centrum Kulturalno-Kongresowe (Cultural and Congress Centre) Jordanki in Toruń looks like. The opening ceremony of one of the most modern cultural facilities in the region, during which Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 25 was played, was held on 12 December 2015 with the participation of the Deputy Minister for Culture, prof. Piotr Gliński, the local government and the author of the design and the architect – Fernando Menisa.

   Spaniard’s design was chosen in 2008 from amongst 22 designs submitted in the competition and already in 2010 it received an award at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona as the best cultural facility of the future. The monthly Architektura-Murator announced Fernando Menisa’s design to be one of 25 best architectural facilities built in Poland after 1989. In December 2014, the design of the steel substructure was awarded the first place in the category of Engineering in the international competition Tekla Global Bim Awards 2014.

   Centrum Kulturalno-Kongresowe consists of four modules with a concert hall with 880 seats (area of the seats: 1012 m2, area of the stage: 600 m2) and a room for smaller events for 300 people (area of the seats: 315 m2, area of the stage: 125 m2), conference rooms, a coffee shop, offices and a two-storey underground car park for 185 cars. Total internal volume of the building is 158,183.01 m3 (aboveground part: 106,375 m3, underground part: 51,808.01 m3).

   The largest module – the main concert hall – has seats arranged on several levels as well as a stage which can optionally be opened to an outdoor square located in the back face of the façade and it can hold outdoor concerts. Acoustics of the concert hall may be changed, depending on the held music event, by means of movable ceilings. The whole space of the concert hall may be freely shaped thanks to mobile seats which makes it possible to hold large concerts with standing crowd, e.g. rock concerts. The large concert hall may be connected with the room for smaller events by means of a sliding wall.

   The shape of the concert hall is characterised by a sculptural form. From the outside, it is mostly covered with bright concrete which will be “cracked” in certain places in order to uncover the interior in the colour of bricks, thanks to the picado lining.

   Before designing the concert hall, Fernando Menis came to Toruń for several days in order to get to know Jordanek and the character of the city well. Inspired by the colours of the Gothic Old Town, he designed an innovative decorative element for Centrum Kulturalno-Kongresowe Jordanki – picado. Picado is a conglomeration of concrete with the addition of melaphyre and bricks. On one side of the formwork, broken and chaotically placed bricks were placed. Between its other side and the bricks, concrete was poured in order to fill in all cracks. After the material set, the concrete surface was chipped in such a way so as to uncover it as much as possible. Notably, apart from the aesthetics, picado also has acoustic properties – it has desired sound reflecting properties.

   The contractor responsible for the concert hall in Jordanki was the consortium of Mostostal Warszawa S.A. and Acciony Infrastruktura S.A. To provide adequate air comfort in this beautiful and very acoustically demanding facility, VBW Engineering supplied 15 BS sectional air-handling units and 4 SPS suspended air-handling units, with a total capacity of 142,180 m3/h.jordanki 0a