The National Forum of Music which startles even the greatest musical authorities is not just the new landmark of the city of Wrocław, but also a unique phenomenon on the global scale.
Even the very beginning of construction works was unusual. Before the design competition was announced, acousticians sat down to work. First, the world-class expert in this field, Tateo Nakajima representing the New York based Artec Consultants Inc. was invited to collaborate. There was as yet no design of the building, but its form, specific functionalities and parameters of the main concert hall were already strictly defined to obtain perfect sound. Only later, in 2005, an international architectural competition for the building’s design was launched in which Kuryłowicz & Associates Architecture Studio was selected. Construction works began in 2008 and were completed seven years later.
The building is full of musical references and symbols. Its golden dome refers to the material of which brass instruments are made, and bronze elements surrounding the building hint to string instruments. The main foyer features a 24-meter tall wall that contrasts with white stairs, thereby creating a reference to a grand piano.
However, the real masterpiece and at the same time the very heart of the NMF is its Main Hall. It was designed as an instrument that can be tuned. The hall may be tuned individually to the needs of musicians performing there. Everything has been subjected to the rigor of acoustic perfection. Depending on the repertoire, the features of all elements affecting the acoustics in the hall may be adjusted, for instance the height of the movable ceiling.
Visitors enter the hall and walk down seven meters by stairs. The hall includes not only the parterre, amphitheater and three balconies, but also a choir area located behind the orchestra. This is, however, not the only sensation. A completely unique, central element of the Main Hall is the platform. Its area of 399 m2 offers a wide range of possibilities for its use. This is possible due to a special system patented in Canada which makes the stage move noiselessly. Three movable trapdoor devices can extend the stage by additional two rows for chorus singers or spectators or make more space for the spectators by adding five more rows of seats. This system also allows for creating an orchestra pit. The stage has a load-bearing capacity of 20 tons and may fit over 100 people.
Most frequently facilities of this kind accommodate one main hall and one up to two smaller concert halls. The NMF is different, as it features four concert halls – one main hall, and three smaller chambers. This means that at the stage of constructing the building, separate inner structures for each concert chambers were built, ensuring that each of them is autonomous and soundproof. Sounds do not migrate between the chambers and are protected against outside noise and vibration. The building can host four concerts at once. It was an absolute priority to achieve the impressive effect of having the halls completely soundproof and acoustically isolated. The entire system of professional solutions and highest construction standards ensures that during concerts at the NMF you won’t hear anything except for the music.
The four concert chambers can at once fit as many as 2,800 people participating in four different events. Aside from classical symphonic concerts, the NMF also hosts electronic and jazz music concerts, choir performances, and even dance competitions. The demanding acoustic parameters of NMF place it among the world’s best facilities of this kind, however what matters the most for musicians and music aficionados is also the acknowledgement of the most eminent personalities representing the world of music, among which are Krzysztof Penderecki, Zubin Metha, Jacek Kasprzyk.
The Dr Irena Eris brand has initiated collaboration with The National Forum of Music. “Spaces for Beauty” is the main theme of their joint activities. A fascinating project realized in cooperation with Dr Irena Eris involves caring for the beauty of the artists from the Symphony Orchestra. The harmony between the beauty of music and the feminine beauty is thus possible thanks to this unique partnership.