The Szczecin Philharmonic is the main reason why this city in Poland appeared under my radar. The building is so magnificent and beautiful that it won numerous architectural awards when it was open to the public, back in 2014. One of these awards was the Architectural Design of the Year at Eurobuild Awards 2014.
This building is why I took a bus on a cold Saturday morning back in February 2018. I ended up exploring Szczecin for the day, but this building was one of the photography highlights of my brief time there.
Let’s talk a little bit about the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland.
The Szczecin Philharmonic was founded in 1948, and it’s called Filharmonia im. Mieczysława Karłowicza w Szczecinie in Polish. Also known as the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic Orchestra, I will be calling it Szczecin Philharmonic since its name is complicated enough and my focus here is not the name but the architecture.
Back to the conversation, the Philharmonic was first open to the public back in October 1948, under the direction of Felicjan Lasota. Its name came from the Polish classical composer and conductor Mieczysław Karłowicz who was born in what is now Belarus.
Until 2014, the Szczecin Philharmonic was located on Armii Krajowej Square but a new seat for the Szczecin Philharmonic was opened in September 2014, and it’s one of the most beautiful buildings in town.
Designed by Studio Barozzi Veiga from Spain, this music venue covers an area of 13.000 square meters and comes with a concert hall that fits a thousand people and a smaller one for 200 people. There are some conference rooms there as well. From outside, the building shows its characteristic ice castle shape and its translucent glass façade that looks fantastic and made me take too many pictures of it.
When you are getting close to the Szczecin Philharmonic, you can see the building emerging from the city context, like an ice castle in the middle of the city. Its steep roof is clearly influenced by the residential buildings around it and by the grand neo-gothic churches that Szczecin has to show. The facade is gorgeous to look at, and it’s in clear contrast to everything else you see around the city. Its white, ice-like structure, won so many architecture awards that it made me want to see it with my own eyes.
And you should do it too since Szczecin is not far from Berlin and it’s a great place to escape the city for a day or a long weekend. There are daily buses from Berlin to Szczecin on FlixBus, and you will have fun there. Believe me on that.