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Cichy Kącik musical heart of Krakow. The winning project of the Krakow Music Center

27 of January '21

Tomorrow, January 28, at 1:00 pm, a discussion will be held on the competition for the design of the Krakow Music Center building, which was decided in December 2020. The jury, chaired by Krzysztof Kiendra, awarded the first prize in the two-stage, implementation competition to the proposal of the Cracow-based BE DDJM Architekci studio.

According to the guidelines of the competition organized by the Krakow City Development Agency in cooperation with the Krakow branch of SARP, the Krakow Music Center planned for the Cichy Kącik estate is to be the heart of the musical city, an architectural icon harmoniously integrated into the context of its surroundings - Błonia, the Arena, the Cracovia hotel and stadium and the National Museum.

The winning design was prepared by a team consisting of: Jaroslaw Kutniowski, Marek Dunikowski, Aleksandra Dzienniak and Mateusz Dudek in cooperation with Aleksandra Sliwa, Natalia Burnagiel, Maksym Buta. The architects consulted with Professor Dietmar Eberle on the project. The acoustics design was done by Muller-BBM (Prof. Karlheinz Muller, Petra Nies), the installation by MK Janura, and the construction by GSBK.

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visualization of the Krakow Music Center

© BE DDJM Architects

Proposed by the designers, the minimalist glazed block on the plan of the letter "L" is surrounded by a rhythmic, geometric colonnade. The main part of the building is a three-story concert hall for 1012 spectators. Also planned for the edifice are three studios (black box, orchestra, choir), an auditorium and a kindergarten interspersed with an interior patio, and an outdoor amphitheater and playground.

The first prize was awarded for the formal expressiveness of the compact mass layout of the designed object of the Krakow Music Center, shaped with the use of assumptions based on the classic pattern of this type of building, containing a well-thought-out layout of the cooperating elements of the functional tracts of the building, which both ensures its efficient functioning and gives excellent potential for staging opportunities during its implementation. The designed mass, in the proposed technology of prefabricated white concrete, snow-white portico with a glowing interior closing the perspective of the Blonia Park, with its opening with glazed communication spaces to the existing spatial context, gives certainty of obtaining a loud object with both classical articulation and a very modern, minimalist restrained language of forms. The achieved spatial effect gives a high certainty of translation into the social impact of the object," the jury's justification reads.

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first floor plan

© BE DDJM Architects

Ola Kloc
: A cultural facility in one of Poland's largest cities already has a chance to become a true architectural icon through its very function, and in this case, its location, as happened with the Philharmonic Hall in Szczecin or the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, among others. How did you approach this challenge? What did your design process look like?

Jaroslaw Kutniowski: Designing a prestigious building in such a unique place can, for obvious reasons, be a temptation to try to achieve exceptional effects, over-expressive demonstrations. After all, the occasion is unique.

We do not succumb to such temptations out of the conviction that this is not what real architecture is all about. The essence of the task was considered to be finding a spatial layout appropriate to the situation, with expressive architecture that corresponds to the rank of the public facility, but not dominant in the surroundings.

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cross-section A-A

© BE DDJM Architects

: The jury appreciated your proposal, among other things, for the formal expressiveness of the compact layout of the block, shaped using assumptions based on the classic pattern of this type of building and a well-thought-out layout. What was your priority in shaping the body and functional solutions of the Music Center?

Jaroslaw: We decided that the proper location and orientation of the building was very important. The building was situated with its front towards the open space of the Blonia with a panoramic view of the city. We are convinced that the orderly organization of the plan and simple rhythm in the architecture of the building will be the most appropriate answer to the task at hand. This stems from the invariable confidence that proper measure, proportion and material are the fundamental laws of architecture.

: You also have another music house to your credit - the European Krzysztof Penderecki Music Center in Luslawice. What solutions and experiences gained in that project could you use in your competition proposal?

Jaroslaw: Certainly the experience of working on the ECM, especially with the concert hall, was very useful. Our joint work with the acousticians at Luslawice was very positively verified. The facility works, and the hall has exceptional acoustics appreciated by everyone, both those who had the opportunity to play there and those who sat in the audience. In addition, the facility has an unusual atmosphere associated with the place.

In the KCM project, in addition to the experience gained in Luslawice in building a top-quality hall, we tried to find the right character of architecture for the Quiet Corner.

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mock-up photo, view of the division of the interior of the edifice

photo: Bartosz Kutniowski © BE DDJM Architects

: This was the second competition for this building, this time in a different location. How often do you decide to participate in competitions? In your opinion, are they a good form of project selection?

Yaroslavl: A competition is an already well-established form of selecting a concept for an object, especially one that is important for a city. As numerous examples from history show, most of the commonly known objects, architectural icons, were selected through open competitions. We approach such projects with full attentiveness and responsibility, also measuring our own capabilities. So the decision to participate is not accidental and is always well thought out.

Ola: Thank you for the interview.

Ola Kloc

The vote has already been cast