While crushing construction materials may seem wasteful, it offers an opportunity to research new aesthetic patterns and finishing solutions. The multifunctional Concert Hall CKK Jordanki in Torun (Poland) designed by the Tenerife-based architect Fernando Menis offers a unique example of this. By using lo-tech tricks such as crushing bricks, the team delivered an appealing new look for an important public facility.
Located between Torún’s old town, a UNESCO-protected site, and the new development area of the city, the concert hall employs in a very special way two conventional materials: red bricks and white concrete. Each personify a specific historical age and corresponding architectural aesthetics. More precisely, classic red bricks recall the old town streetscape and ancient buildings’ façades. White concrete, on the other hand, represents contemporary architecture. The two materials symbolically fuse old and the new.
Architect Fernando Menis calls this technique cof mixing concrete with other materials “picado” and often employs it in his works. It has been certified by the Spanish and the Polish Building Research Institute. Besides its powerful visual effect, this technique provides excellent acoustic results, which is particularly useful for the CKK Jordanki project. Plus it gives a second life to trashed bricks.
The shape of the building emphasizes the interplay and dichotomy between modern and historic design. While the exterior of the Jordanki Hall features cold, rigid and almost anonymous geometry, its interior is a surprisingly fluid and dynamic cave-like space. Inside, Jordanki is smoothly-shaped and molded to provide necessary space for the program functions. To understand better the nature of the concert hall’s interior space, think of Zurek, a traditional Polish soup served directly in a scooped-out loaf of bread.
The Jordanki Concert Hall is a flexible building that can be easily transformed from a classic opera configuration into a theater, a symphony orchestra, a central scene performance space or even a banquet hall. The hall can also be adapted to a different capacity, shrinking or expanding it like a sponge.
Images © Jakub Certowicz, Małogorzata Replińska. Courtesy CKK Jordani and Fernando Menis