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Flanagan Lawrence wins go-ahead for revamp of Polish open-air theatre

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London’s Flanagan Lawrence has won initial approval for its competition-winning project to reconfigure a 1970s outdoor theatre in Szczecin, Poland

The news comes two years after the practice won a competition ahead of a number of Polish practices to win the job to transform the famous 1976 Szczecin Summer Theatre.

The AJ100 practice’s concept design has now been approved by the Szczecin Municipal Government and the firm is developing the detailed design for a building permit submission.

Since winning the project, its budget has doubled to £5.08 million and its original completion date pushed back from later this year to the beginning of 2020.

The scheme aims to ‘enhance and project’ the natural acoustics of the 2,500-seat facility – a controversial project when it was first built, due to its complexity and spiralling cost.

Practice director Jason Flanagan said: ’The doubly-curved roof form follows the natural slope of the existing hillside to retain the long range views across the park, and then dramatically lifts over the stage to provide the necessary height for the performance area, while revealing views of the lake beyond.’

The roof will be structurally independent of an existing arch, and is formed by a curved truss, which serves as the edge beam to a single cable net structure. This supports a series of inflated fabric roof panels and suspended acoustic reflectors. Two additional trusses span the stage to support the load of the lighting grid.

Flanagan Lawrence’s proposal will also provide ancillary facilities, including a box office, bathrooms, a café and a refurbished backstage area.

The original structure, including the concrete arch, was designed by Polish architect Zbigniew Abrahamowicz (1938-1990).

Project data

Client The City of Szczecin (Gmina Miasto Szczecin)
Architect Flanagan Lawrence
Landscape architect Flanagan Lawrence
Structural engineer K2SE
M&E consultant BT Bogna Tomaszewska/ELseco
Quantity surveyor Jolanta Brzezinska
Lighting consultant Q Lab
Gross internal floor area Backstage 550m² and overall area (stage, audience, viewing platform) 4,600m².

  • Overall length – 85m
  • Maximum width – 50m
  • Stage width – 28m
  • Height over stage - 11m to 17m
  • Roof area – 3,170 m²

Acoustics Arup
Structural engineer Expedition
Cost 24 million Polish Zloty (about £5.08 million)
Form of contract Traditional
Tender date Q4 2018
Start on site Q1 2019
Completion Q1 2020

The Szczecin amphitheater/summer theatre by Zbigniew Abrahamowicz

The Szczecin amphitheater/summer theatre by Zbigniew Abrahamowicz

Source: Piotr Kuczynski

The Szczecin amphitheater/summer theatre by Zbigniew Abrahamowicz

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