In the spring of 2009 we where invited to design a modern multifunctional concert and event hall for the Local Council in the rural village of Mihai Viteazu in Cluj County, Romania. The location was already occupied by the building that previously served as the event hall for the village, but that, due to its dated design was unable to accommodate the current needs of the community. The brief was to provide a space flexible enough to accommodate various cultural events, from concerts to small scale theater and dance presentations for approximatively 350 viewers.
At the same time we wished for the new building to become a focal point for the community offering a new public external and internal space for activities and provide a vector for change in a drab, gray built environment tributary to a chaotic socialistic development of the ’70; a new direction pointing towards contemporary design.
The existing building, though in a good physical shape, had no real architectural value and its functional concept was dated, but due to financial constraints the design brief required integrating the existing spaces at the same time adapting them to accommodate the new functions.
We started with a wish to root the new building in the local community, so we identified that, the pride of the local community, a dance group that presents local traditional folk-dances, with great national and international renown, would find its new home in the building, thus making it the starting point for our design. Thus the functional scheme was born that re-functioned the existing space as practice-rooms and administrative offices and added the new main room with its annexes (changing rooms, bathrooms, storage, etc.).
The envelope was born out of a proces of “coagulating” the existing building with its new modern addition. The formal expression is meant to reflect the structural reality (the extension is a metal frame building with special insulated panels that are both acoustic due to micro perforations on the inside face and also fire retardant due to its mineral core), the form of the hall that is the result of an acoustic study (with broken surfaces and sharp edges) but also the main function, that of a Concert Hall.
We managed to achieve a barrier free design, allowing for complete acces with careful ramp design, flat thresholds and apropriate sanitary facilities for disabled people.
A good thermal design was also considered, the concert hall fills the interior volume of the new building minimizing unused space and heat los and employs a ventilated façade system with sustainable, locali sourced materials like wood and ceramic brick.
The building won the Best Public Architecture Prize in the 2016 – Competition organized by OAR Mures
- Client: Mihai Viteazu - Village Council
- Project: Design for Concert Hall
- Location: com. Mihai Viteazu, Cluj Conty, Romania
- Year: 2009-2016
- Status: finalized
- Co-workers: Structure Design (static design); Caloria (HVAC design)
- Awards: OAR Mures Awards - Best Public and Utilitarian Architecture