Zamek

 


In 2007, when we set out with the competition for a design to modernise the castle we had one goal: to create a space where its recipient becomes its subject. So that those who find themselves within that space may feel it has been made bespoke for them. Functional and open. 
Thus far, the castle had been different – it intimidated people with the labyrinth of rooms and the vastness of dark halls. With its immense programme and the appetite for even more activity, the Culture Centre suffocated in the heavy body of the neo-Romanesque edifice.  Hence the need for a change – uncompromising, bold and comprehensive.

 

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

GRAND LOBBY

 

THE TUBE

 

THE TUBE

 

THE TUBE

 

THE TUBE

 

DETAIL

 

GRAND HALL

 

GRAND HALL

 

GRAND HALL

 

GRAND HALL

 

EXHIBITION HALL

 

ATRIUM

 

MEZZANINE

 

MEZZANINE

 

 

MEZZANINE

 

MEZZANINE

 

DETAIL

 

CINEMA

 

CINEMA

 

 

THE NEW STAGE

 

THE NEW STAGE

 

THE NEW STAGE

 

THE NEW STAGE 

(photos: MW Foto - M. Augustyniak, J. Jarosz)
 

 

The pivotal element of the concept was expanding and elevating the 1st floor hall in before the Grand Hall to the rank of central ATRIUM, where all the functions are focused and where the paths of the castle guests converge. We literally opened up the hall – by removing the roof above and fitting a glass dome in its place, demolishing the stairway and the former interiors of the cafeteria.
The ATRIUM was created where once the old courtyard of the throne chamber was to be found; thus the original architectural arrangement was restored. Spanning three storeys of open space, the place becomes a new, friendly centre which so far has been wanting. This is where one will find a cafe and a bookstore; this is the juncture of routes leading to the Exhibition hall, the rehearsal room, the cinema and the Grand Hall – the venue of the most important events.  

 

 

 
ATRIUM becomes a meeting place, where people want to be, together.
ATRIUM becomes a space where the atmosphere of anticipation for the events and the possibility of discussing them once they have been experienced finds fitting complement and setting.
The ellipsoid mezzanine and the dome of the glazed roof unfolding above are architectural coordinates of the design premises. They constitute the framework of the space. Illuminated with daylight, the whole is bright, friendly and positive.
ATRIUM is accessed by spacious stairway leading from the main hall, dominated by the red TUBE – the point where guest are welcomed, an information and command centre.
The entire project is crowned by the New Stage, situated under the roof, created in the loft space of the Grand Hall.
Thus conceived functions of the ZAMEK convey to the participants of the castle events a clear and lucid communication, and thereby an impression of exclusive and deliberate organisation of that space, devised especially for them.  Member of the audience – guest –visitor or resident do not feel lost in the depths of a gigantic building, but become witnesses – participants – creators of events, which depending on their nature will find their place within the castle structure – programmed and prepared specially with those people in mind.
  

 

The raw concrete, graphite-grey colours of the walls and elements of the steel structure are a perfect backdrop to all activities that ZAMEK does as part of its mission. The neutral floor of large basalt flags does not interfere with the visual nature of the interiors. The only colourful notes are the red wall coverings in the TUBE and cafe, and the natural, rosewood panels on the doors.  The employed materials endow the place with qualities of space dedicated to artistic activity, do not impose their own stylistics, and thus acquire a purely ancillary value with respect to the events featured in ZAMEK’s programme.

 

 

 

The identity of the castle is preserved in the historical outlines of the walls and in the spatial arrangement, but conceived as a setting for the contemporary mission, it deliberately fails to draw on the neo-Romanesque original. This is not and by no means should be a reconstruction. It is a new form created for new contents. A new spirit in a new body.

  

 

Five years from the formulation of the concept and after two years of actual conversion, after the years of struggle with the refractory colossus, which turned out to be greatly worn away by age and history (and therefore exceedingly demanding)… the new interiors of the ZAMEK Culture Centre, just as their authors, impatiently await for the moment when the intentions of the creators will be verified by the expectations of the visitors.

                                                                                                                                                                             Tomasz Wojtkowiak TOYA DESIGN

 

First Prize in the competition for Programme/Architectural Concept of Modernisation/Adaptation of Grand Hall complex at “Zamek” Culture Centre in Poznań.
For more information about the competition, go to CK Zamek’s webpage.

Press articles :

Gazeta Wyborcza
Głos Wielkopolski

 

 

 

THE IDEA:

 

 

The concept is based on the idea of extending the first floor hallway in front of the Sala Wielka [Grand Hall] to form the central ATRIUM, where all functions of the Castle concentrate, and where paths of its visitors meet.
     Located in place of the original castle courtyard, the ATRIUM is covered with a glass skylight, which makes the place “return” to its original architectural layout. Open across three storeys, it becomes a new, friendly CENTRE which the Castle has lacked to date.
     The spectator-guest-visitor-resident does not feel lost in the recesses of the huge orifice anymore, but turns into a witness-participant-creator of events.

     Such concept requires changes in the present structure of the buildings, or, to be more exact, partial recreation of the original, historic layout. This entails removal of the ceiling above the present-day hallway in front of the Sala Wielka, demolition of canteen and staircase walls, as well as adding a glazed skylight of the ATRIUM. A ring-shaped mezzanine is put in place of the ceiling. Nest-shaped, it rests on its own reinforced concrete structure, which becomes a connecting area between the right and left sides of the second floor. The arched stairway which leads to the mezzanine offers excellent view of the whole optically open area encompassing more than three storeys of the castle. The glazed skylight of the ATRIUM remains invisible from the outside.


 

 

 

 

     New structural arrangements also redefine the area above the Sala Wielka. Replacement of its present suspended ceiling with a new, higher structure makes establishment of a full-size contemporary stage possible. Still higher, inside the room outlined by stretches of the roofof the building, a new “suspended” stage can be accessed via a “gangway” staircase from the last storey of the tower which flanks the building’s main entrance (and houses the main lift). With a platform placed upon it, the new ceiling becomes a structural element of the new stage (elements of Sala Wielka’s technical infrastructure are suspended underneath).

     The Sala Wielka becomes a multi-purpose theatrical-event venue. It is equipped with moving platforms, which support the stage and auditorium. Both can be arranged in a number of ways, depending on the character of the performance and requirements of the set. Furthermore, moveable, folding auditoriums are introduced. The suspended ceiling is complete with a fly system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     The most important decorative element of the newly-designed interiors is their natural austerity, which is achieved through disposal of all the stone facings previously used in these areas.
     Raw concrete, visible elements of technical infrastructure, graphite-grey colouring of the walls and structural elements made of steel form excellent background to all Castle’s mission activities. Neutral flooring made of large slabs of granite does not visually disrupt the interiors. The only “colourful” element is natural, rosewood facing of inner doors.
     The materials used lend the facility the quality of an interior defined by its function; they do not force their stylistics and thus play a subordinate role to events that make up the Castle’s program.

 

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