The design of the Auditorium ushers in the conception of space as a complex, though elegant “acoustic device”.We crafted the space into a dynamic field through design innovations, technological applications and material processes in construction and management.A ceaseless dynamism between sculpturing and engineering.
The project refers to the Renovation of the Auditorium inside the cylindrical historic gasholder building at the industrial museum and cultural gas park of Technopolis in Athens. The design concept refers to the historical function of the industrial plant as a gasholder whose interior tank was “unfolding” supported by the still remaining sophisticated metallic pillars of the late 19th century.The approach of the new internal “void” volume of the auditorium is that of a state-of-art cultural tank. Hence, the auditorium is designated by the new interior folding and flowing topologies: the stage, the hollow and the ceiling, and is perceived as an “acoustic device” in the core of the historic tank. The roof enhances passive acoustics through geometric sound-reflectors and sound-absorbers, oak surfaces, that form prismatic pyramid clusters. It consists of 564 pieces belonging to typologies, sub-typologies and unique pieces, all customly fabricated. The design provides the necessary volume-per-listener relationship through the geometry and the balance between the reflective and sound-absorbing surfaces, providing a unique acoustic experience to the spectators. The design and fabrication of the acoustic panels, produced and approved in Greece, have challenged the relation between architecture, engineering and the construction establishment, and thus challenged the construction economy. Through advanced design, sound calculus and construction technology, algorithmic and material processes, we focused on an integrated ceaseless dynamism between sculpturing and engineering for the acoustic ceiling.
A challenge to overcome has been the adaptation to the existing concrete shell. The very shape of the plan, circular and not the typical conic, challenged passive acoustics and the 7 existing large scale concrete structural pillars were creatively camouflaged and formed part of the acoustic behaviour of the space. A characteristic architectural gesture is the rearrangement of the stairs to disseminate spectators and the significant rise of the stage to ensure optimal visual and acoustic comfort. The topologies of flooring (natural oak) and hollow (variatios of black- carpets and seats) are merged. Around the core of the amphitheater, two new discrete foyers were designed, integrating support functions, the entrance “green lobby” and the upper floor conference “pink lobby”. A characteristic feature is the creation of vertical glazed holes between the foyer and the theater, while retaining the ability to cover and completely darken the theater. This subtle architectural maneuver indicates the ability to perceive spaces holistically. Conceptually the auditorium was conceived as a place of creation and offer of cultural experiences, and is inextricably linked to visually recognizable spatial stimuli and the concept of spatial identity. The space provokes an upgraded human experience as an attractive meeting place to be remembered. The architectural design generates a spatial atmosphere that evokes emotion, excitement and tranquility.