This competition entry for an Opera building, designed by Nüvist, is set in the Turkish coastal city of Izmir. The embodied energy of the Gulf, which fronts the site, seems to reach out and swoop up into a highly sculptural building shell. One might also imagine an operatic crescendo, growing from deep warblings to a triumphant high G. This shell contains both a Main Hall seating 1200 and a Small Hall which seats 400. Also present are support spaces as well as spaces for the teaching and practicing of ballet and opera. At the building’s front, under the weight of the shell, is an Artistic Foyer which folds overhead to welcome and envelope concert-goers into the space, creating flow and a dynamism of stance.
Now I love fluidity and futurism, but I have some doubts. This is a competition entry and thus the idea is often more important to get across than the nitty-gritty-spoiling structural questions. However, since this is certainly not the only building with a fantastic(al) form, it is probably a good thing to discuss. How do buildings of this form become reality? Steel is your friend, young Jedi. Trussing and space-frames make all possible. If it’s made of triangular bracing, it can be made. That said, I would have liked to see evidence of this or a similar solution in the section, but its absence hasn’t ruined my day.