From cupboard to city. One of the most innovative buildings of recent times is the Casa de Música in Porto. The building was designed by OMA and is distinguished by the use made of the emptiness characteristic of the city.
The large concert hall opens on both the front and the back to the environment. Because of the folded ground the building seeks contact with the city while on the outside it is a sculptural object. Between music halls and the city lies an interior in which circulation and floors form a continuous area. This flowing space that ultimately brings the visitor to the roof can be used and taken in a variety of ways.
Casa da Música in Porto is more than a traditional concert hall with two halls and a foyer. The rooms are optimally attuned to classical music practice. However, the foyer, the restaurant and the other gaps also lend themselves to music performances. During the monthly ‘club nights’ the entire building is in use. In the summer, the outdoor areas around the building and on the roof are also involved. For example, one can listen to a classical concert in the main hall, dance the flamenco on the roof and attend a house party in the parking garage. Thanks to this inventive use of the spaces, the building may be best understood as a festival site that charges the emptiness in the city with creative energy.
No specific furniture was designed in the offices, but the available furniture on the market was used. Thus the choice in the offices fell on the sound-insulating Stealth cabinets. For the ticket office The Wall cabinets were ideal, especially because people can not put anything on it. Also in the office spaces specifically Corks of Moooi applied, made of cork, referring to the famous production of the city of Porto.
Architects : OMA, www.oma.eu
Photography: Philippe Ruault & Christian Richters.