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New Musical Theatre in Poznan to be ready in 2026

30 of May '23

The largest in the country, the first in the cityafter the war. This is what the Poznan Music Theater is to be. Four years after the architectural competition, a tender is being launched for a contractor for the investment, which will significantly change the appearance of the downtown area. The building, designed by Atelier Loegler Architects, may be ready for the theater's seventieth anniversary.

The decision on the tender certainly pleased the creators and lovers of Poznan's Musical Theater, which has been looking forward to a new seat for years. Since its establishment in 1956, the cultural institution has been nestled in sub-standard conditions in the cramped premises of the Soldier's House on Niezłomnych Street. For years, by the way, the artistic level of the former Operetta (that was the theater's name until 1972) matched the quality of the rooms occupied by the artists. However, over the past decade, under the new management (directed by Przemyslaw Kieliszewski), the Musical sailed creatively into wide waters, putting on carefully crafted musicals. There was therefore a serious reason to hold an architectural competition for a new venue in 2019 (we wrote more extensively about it and the winning entry here).

location not to be missed

For the new building, the city allocated an exposed plot of land in the historic downtown area next to the Kaponiera traffic circle, by the railroad tracks leading to the nearby Central Station, between the historic academic buildings of the so-called Imperial Forum—a representative district from the early 20th century. The competition was won by the dynamic and very distinctive form proposed by the Cracow studio of Romuald Loegler (Atelier Loegler Architekci).

Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu - wizualizacja poglądowa

Musical Theater in Poznan—visualization—western elevation bordering railroad areas, view from Roosevelta Street

proj. Atelier Loegler Architekci

The work distanced the quieter projects of the studio: JEMS Architekci (second place) and APA Jerzy Gurawski (third place). In the verdict, the competition judges gave the highest marks for

theway it relates to the surrounding buildings and the shape of the block, which fits into the panorama of the downtown district. The court noted the openness of the expressive form, the inviting nature of the foyer and the aesthetics of the entrance area.

The construction project was ready two years after the competition, in 2021. However, the start of the project was delayed for financial reasons. A year ago in April, therefore, the City of Poznań signed an agreement with the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage to co-manage the theater, in order to benefit from ministerial funds as well. Finally, on Monday, May 29, representatives of the city and county (KO), an MP and a deputy of the ruling camp, and a representative of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) spoke in an unusually unanimous mood. They announced that a tender for a general contractor for the investment will be launched this week, in a design-build mode (according to the concept and construction design of Loegler's studio).

Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu - wizualizacja poglądowa

Musical Theater in Poznan—visualization—fragment of the foyer

proj. Atelier Loegler Architekci

If the proceedings end without problems by December, the new headquarters is likely to be built by the end of 2026. The city is allocating 165 million zlotys for the investment, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is allocating 115 million, and the Poznań District is allocating 15 million (a total of 290 million zlotys). What will happen if these finances turn out to be too scarce? Politicians expressed hope that MP Jadwiga Emilewicz, secretary of state at the Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy and a member of the Musical Theater Council, who was present at Monday's briefing, would help in the efforts to make up the missing amount.

music and retention

What will the first theater building built from scratch in post-war Poznan look like more precisely? On Święty Marcin Street, between the tracks and the Academy of Music, a distinctive form will be built, covered by an irregular broken roof. The glazed elevations will be enlivened by a free composition of diagonal vertical divisions (a video from three years ago showing the development plot and visualizations can be viewed on YT). The audience section with a multi-purpose foyer and a plaza in front of the building will be located on St. Martin and Skośna Streets, with the main auditorium for one thousand two hundred people planned in the middle, and rehearsal rooms, technical and office space and storage facilities to the south. A chamber hall for 300 people will be built on the lower level. Also planned is a concert space for 150 listeners and a restaurant with a banquet hall.

Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu - wizualizacja poglądowa

Musical Theater in Poznan—visualization—daytime view of the west elevation

design Atelier Loegler Architekci

The project may also include a Water and Music Park with a reservoir fed by water flowing down from the theater's vast roof slopes. A narrow, long green area is planned behind the administrative part of the theater, in the wedge between the tracks and Skośna Street, which was extended by the investment (today there are parking lots, garages and barracks there). Thus, the park is to reach to the south the area of the station and the currently being completed development quarter between Składowa and Towarowa Streets with the tallest residential building in the city (73 meters). All buildings of the complex, which has been under construction since 2003, are designed by Ewa and Stanislaw Sipinski Architectural Studio.

Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu - wizualizacja poglądowa

Musical Theater in Poznan—overview visualization—shape of the block,
illustration from competition work; left: Święty Marcin Street, right: area of future park between Skośna Street and PKP railway tracks

designed by Atelier Loegler Architekci

recognizable red

Unfortunately, no new refined visuals and projections of the theater were shown on Monday, so the assessment of design intentions must still be based on competition materials and some new information provided to the media. One thing is certain: the spectacular, pugnacious form will become a noticeable and strong accent in the downtown space, exposed strongly from the tracks and Kaponiera. It will also significantly affect the silhouette of the Imperial Forum with the tower of the former Imperial Castle (Zamek Cultural Center) dominating it today.

According to the designer, the distinctive and strong form is expected to lead a dialogue with the equally unconventional Bałtyk office building by MVRDV studio, which stands on the other side of the tracks (completion: 2017). However, this dialogue will only be on the same level if the quality of the materials used, details and overall workmanship is as high as that of Baltic and the neighboring development over a century ago. Any apparent economy or „letting go” of the level of detailing can fatally affect the perception of such a distinct and difficult building.

Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu - wizualizacja poglądowa

Musical Theater in Poznan—overview visualization—auditorium with significant depth of strongly affecting red color

proj. Atelier Loegler Architekci

What will we find in the interiors? After the competition, their design underwent many modifications and details. However, it is known that they will still be dominated by the controversial carmine color of the walls and finishes—both in the spacious foyer and the theater hall. The color used in these interiors is already a trademark of Romuald Loegler, who similarly solved the interiors of the Krakow Opera House and the expanded Polish Theater in Szczecin (final work is currently underway there). According to new information, accessibility issues and facilities for people with disabilities have been worked out very carefully. It is also known that functional improvements have been made to the stage area with fast, two-level trapdoors, deep backstage areas and a rotating stage.

twitches and noises

The new headquarters of the Poznan Musical Theater will allow the realization of very ambitious artistic intentions and will accommodate more than three times as many spectators as the current hall. At the same time, it will be the largest facility of its kind in the country, with a cubic capacity of up to 170,000 cubic meters, on an area of more than 6,000 square meters. Thanks to its central location, the theater will also influence the revitalization of the western part of the inner city near the extremely unfriendly Kaponiera traffic circle. It is also an opportunity for the currently rebuilt Święty Marcin Street: it can become an attractive destination for pedestrians, who today pass this area sparsely and only in „transit” on their way to the streetcar or train station.

Teatr Muzyczny w Poznaniu - wizualizacja poglądowa

Musical Theater in Poznan—overview visualization—view from the stage to the auditorium

designed by Atelier Loegler Architekci

Another advantage of the location is the almost direct vicinity of the train station (more than 40 percent of the audience comes from outside Poznan) and the streetcar junction at Kaponiera. However, the proximity of the railroad tracks and the vibrations and noise associated with them will be quite a challenge for designers and acousticians. Nature issues will also require sensitivity. There are more than a dozen mature trees in the area planned for the new theater, which the City announces will be replanted elsewhere "if possible."

Jakub Głaz

The vote has already been cast