With an educational and exhibition center and multimedia exhibition, the Sopot Forest Opera will be available all year round. The new building is intended to be a harmonious complement to the existing building, the concept is the responsibility of the Architecture Workshop of the Studio of Authors WAPA from Sopot.
The Forest Opera House, one of the most recognizable symbols of the resort, underwent a major renovation in 2012. At a cost of more than PLN 78 million, a new roof was built, more seats in the auditorium, the stage and its facilities were rebuilt. However, this is not the end of the changes, the next stage of the site's revitalization is a year-round exhibition, the main part of which will be located in the new building.
seize the potential
The Forest Opera House is an extraordinary place, where musical events have been held for more than a century, and concerts feature popular, classical and opera music, for which, by the way, the place was created. We want to make better use of the Opera House's potential and show the history of the artists performing here and the events taking place here, as well as pass on the passion for music and "infect" the next generation with it ," says Magdalena Czarzyńska-Jachim, deputy mayor of Sopot.
The architectural and urban planning concept of the new facility is the responsibility of the Architecture Workshop of the Studio of Authors WAPA from Sopot, under the leadership of Krzysztof Kozłowski, known for its projects, among others: The Museum of the Battle of Grunwald, the reconstruction of the Wybrzeze Theater in Gdansk, and the expansion of Opera Nova in Bydgoszcz.
Visualization of the new building, which will be built on the Forest Opera grounds
© Architecture Workshop of the WAPA Author's Studio
preserving trees is a priority
The project was selected in a competition organized by Sopot and decided in 2021. The usable area of more than 3.9 thousand square meters will include modern exhibition halls, allowing the use of multimedia for artistic activities, a viewing terrace, a bar and office space. The building will have three floors above ground and one underground.
The design of the building caused us a lot of difficulties, as we had to adapt it to the existing site conditions - without leveling the terrain or interfering with the trees, the preservation of which was a priority , says Krzysztof Kozlowski, who heads the design team. - The building is sort of hollowed out in the middle and fits into the space, filling in vacant spaces among the greenery , he adds.
The idea for the development of the site is based primarily on its characteristic shape, the location of the trees growing on the Forest Opera grounds, as well as the existing pedestrian and access routes. According to the designers' intention, the new building will harmoniously complement the existing development around the Forest Opera, and the current garage and storage space will also be developed.
The main facades of the building will be finished with natural wood. The interior glazed bypass will have vertical razor blades of wood planks.
In addition to the architectural and urban planning concept, the exhibition scenario is ready, which was prepared by MAE - Multimedia Art & Education. According to the designers' assumption, the exhibition will show the phenomenon of the Sopot Forest Opera with its very diverse history. The backdrop of this story will be Sopot - a resort that since its establishment has attracted not only tourists, but also artists, a city that is said to be the summer capital of Poland. The tour time, depending on the path chosen, will be between 2 and 3.5 hours.
The challenge in designing such exhibitions is to find such forms that the message will be clear, interesting, to reach people of different ages, knowledge and competencies. Hence the use of such a variety of media - from analog ones such as texts, graphics, posters or photos to multimedia that engage exhibition viewers in fun and interaction, encourage exploration, allow them to choose and even take on different roles. This simultaneous impact on multiple senses makes it easier to learn and remember ," explains Agata Pasternak, creative director of MAE, designer of the Forest Opera exhibition.
Therewill also be an open-air sightseeing path on the Forest Opera grounds, which will include RUUP wooden Estonian megaphones, a poster gallery and the existing dressing rooms. As part of the path, it will be possible to take a close look at the Forest Opera's structural elements with the help of a special telescope, learn interesting facts about the architecture, and watch mapping on the roof.
return to the past
The part of the exhibition dedicated to the stars of the festivals will be built in the form of a spatial installation, using photos, multimedia and memorabilia, among other things. This section will showcase some 120 song stars who performed on the Forest Opera stage. The Baltic Artistic Agency BART and the Sopot Museum are encouraging donations of memorabilia from past events at the Opera House to complement the exhibit.
The estimated cost of the exhibition alone is PLN 15 million. Implementation of the project will depend on the state of the budget, and the City will also seek external funding opportunities.