Casa da Musica
The Casa da Musica is situated on Travertine Plaza, between the city’s historic quarter and a working-class neighborhood, adjacent to the Rotunda da Boavista.
The past thirty years have seen frantic attempts by architects to escape the domination of the ‘shoe-box’ concert hall. Rather than struggle with the inescapable acoustic superiority of this traditional shape, the Casa da Musica attempts to reinvigorate the traditional concert hall in another way: by redefining the relationship between the hallowed interior and the general public outside. It has a distinctive faceted form, made of white concrete, which remains solid and believable in an age of too many icons. Inside, the elevated 1,300-seat (shoe box-shaped) Grand Auditorium has corrugated glass facades at either ends that open the hall to the city and offer Porto itself as a dramatic backdrop for performances. Casa da Musica reveals its contents without being didactic, at the same time, it casts the city in a new light.
As well as the Grand Auditorium, conceived as a simple mass hollowed out end-to-end from the solid form of the building, the Casa da Musica also contains a smaller, more flexible performance space with no fixed seating, ten rehearsal rooms, recording studios, an educational area, a restaurant, terrace, bars, a VIP room, administration areas and an underground car park for 600 vehicles.