Architects: LTFB Studio
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Architects In Charge: Lucian Luta, Liviu Fabian
Project Manager: S.C. VCE Vienna Consulting Engineers
Structure: Ductil Tech
Acoustic: Radu Pana, Marius Smighelschi
Constructor: Cam Construct Engineering
Photographs: Cosmin Dragomir
The idea of a school of music and arts in Bucharest came from the need to gather all the teachers and gifted children from the district and from other areas in a single dedicated place in order to study and communicate. Until now, children have studied in improvised places, in old schools that haven’t been built in accordance with the technical needs of these disciplines. The school is not a classical art one, but an institution with extra-curricular activities like music, theatre, dance, drawing, painting, graphics, sculpture, new media and performance of any kind.
The site that the town-hall chose for this school is between a primary school, a small park and a small wooden church, in a district full of monotonous block of flats built entirely during the communist era. The lack of identity of the dwellings district (very common issue for the communist era) and the vicinity of the small social places around the site made us conceive the school like an identity element of the district that exceeds the basic technical needs of the wanted disciplines. We focused on some elements we thought important for the project: a fresh image related somehow with pre-war modern Romanian architecture (a functionalist arrangement of volumes with simple gestures), an openness to the exterior through a main interior public space (forum), a very clean partition of disciplines and functions.
The exterior image is formed by an white L-shaped volume that surrounds the red bond volume of the two performance halls, and over this red one is placed, on a perpendicular direction, another white volume – a window display of the building towards the street. The window display hides/shows the choreography area.
In the L-shape volume we find at the ground floor a lecture room, a web-art space and the open space for drawing, painting and sculpture. At the first floor we have grouped all the small 35 music classrooms with angled walls and ceilings (resulting from the acoustic studies) and a small interior terrace. The highest white volume hosts also some music spaces (for choir and instrumental orchestras) and the choreography area with two main halls for dancing. At the underground we find the administrative annexes, dressing rooms for performing artists and a recording studio.
The red volume is floating independently over the forum space and hosts the two performance halls, a small one for chamber music and a 200 places hall for bigger concerts or events, with the entrance through a small bridge. The most distinctive space is the forum from the underground, the central space of the school. It’s a flexible space. Its skin is transparent towards interior and exterior. The light comes from everywhere, also through a skylight that articulate the white and red volumes. It can be enlarged with the foyer and the drawing and painting space from the ground floor, but also towards the exterior through two performance terraces which link the forum with the street. It can be a space for public meetings, various exhibitions, conferences, courses etc.
The white L-shaped volume has a classic concret structure, but the red bond volume has more a bridge-type metal structure for sustaining the main concert hall slab for an opening of aprox. 14m/20m
The furniture of the school is simple, joyfully colored, flexible and easy to store. The space dedicated to drawing, painting and sculpture has mobile storage furniture that can also be used to separate two or three classrooms within.
The building is now beginning to enter the public space and we hope it will use its full potential to activate the social and cultural life for this district of Bucharest.