Szczecin is a charming city situated in the northwest corner of Poland, near the Baltic Sea. The city was looking to update its 1976-era summer theater, a popular spot for big name concerts, celebrations and cultural events.
Flanagan Lawrence, London, England, won a competition to design the new space. The original theater features an iconic arch made from a membrane of plastic fibers that was to remain in place. The architectural firm’s proposal maximizes the original design, adding a roof to enclose the stage and audience. The design also adds 2,500 seats, a box office, bathrooms, a café and a refurbished backstage area.
The underside of the new roof, to cover the stage and front of the auditorium, will enhance and project the exceptional acoustics for which the theater is known. Structurally independent of the existing arch, the roof will be formed by a curved truss which serves as the edge beam to a single cable net structure. The net will support a series of inflated fabric roof panels and suspended acoustic reflectors. Two additional trusses will span the stage to support the load of the lighting grid.
The back of the stage will be enclosed acoustically by curved glazed screens, which will offer picturesque views out to Rusalka Lake and create a scenic backdrop to performances. The 16,659 square-meter renovated theater is set to open in 2018.