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CKK Jordanki

Fernando Menis Architecture

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Sara Johnson


Project Status


Year Completed




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Project Description


Opening of the CKK Jordanki, a highly flexible Auditorium in Poland, designed by Menis

In December 2015, Spanish architect Fernando Menis, has finished his most complex work up to date, an Auditorium in Torun, the UNESCO protected town in Poland.

The plot of the project is set in a green ring around the centre of this small and smart Polish town, bordering the new development of the city. The project site is designed to cover the half of the area of the site. This is to give the remaining area to the park. A green arc is created to create views onto the Auditorium as well as to make the park appear larger. The views to the river stay untouched by having kept the building’s height the smallest possible. The small height, on the other hand, allowed the building to blend with the neighbourhood and the site, the visual effect achieved is that of a natural object, a rock.

The interior is marked by the presence of the red brick, crashed and melted into concrete. Brick is on nearly all the façades of the historic centre. The exterior is made of almost white concrete. As the concrete shell is cut and carved away, shades of red appear as the lining in its holes. The building’s use of material is a reinterpretation of the traditional use of brick, establishing a parallel between the tectonics of the city and the location of the plot. The interplay of colours, red and white, emphasizes the dichotomy between the modern and historic architecture. Menis uses to explain the volume of the concert hall through the experience of eating Zurek, a very popular dish, eaten in Poland. Zurek is a traditional soup served in a bun whose crumb has been removed and its outer shell is used as a bowl.

While the concert hall's outer skin remains rigid, inside, the building acts like a fluid that brings together the different functions, its many different co-existing elements, slowly combining them and playing off each other. The program is characterized by a great flexibility at such extent that a building, which according to the client's brief, was meant to be only a concerts hall, ended up being a space for all kinds of concerts and events, within the same initial budget. First of all, the theatre space is able to adapt easily to different capacities, it may change from performance to performance, like a sponge. For instance you may join two rooms to act as the main theatre by moving the walls and changing the number of the easily removable seats. It is possible to hold several separate and simultaneous events. Secondly, thanks to its dynamic ceiling, the building can be tuned to effectively absorb symphonic performances, chamber, theatre, opera, and film and meet any acoustic requirements the theatre designer requires. Finally, the concert hall can open to the outside, allowing to join the interior stage with the park outside for outdoor performances and events like rock or pop concerts and other kind of massive gatherings.

Go through
The circulation is open and intuitive; it allows people to pass though the building, toward the plaza, providing a complete and continuous connection with public space. The building creates an intimate inner world, maintaining the fluid connection with the outside world and it behaves like a door. It allows users to go through it and reach the plaza, which is the heart of the building's site.

Innovative technique: picado
Picado is used in the entire building. This is an innovative technique, conceived by Fernando Menis, consisting of mixing concrete with other materials and break it afterwards. Besides achieving a rough expression, the picado allows excellent acoustics results. The first time Menis used it, was in Magma Art & Congress (Tenerife, Canary Islands, 2005). Now, in Torun, the picado is the outcome of mixing concrete and red bricks; the expression is more convincing, forceful and precise, the outcome has been finely tuned through advanced research (the technique has been certified by the Spanish and the Polish Building Research Institute -ITB, respectively).

The architect's statement
Architect Fernando Menis has stated: “I wanted to make an auditorium that has the best efficiency possible, one that can adapt to different events and various capacities for public, and even to be able to house several independent acts simultaneously. Thus, able to absorb efficiently a varied number of performances, the kind of symphonic music, chamber music, theatre, opera, cinema, musicals…and, at the same time, a place which citizens of Torun can feel proud of. “
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