Intervention de Nuno Grande, docteur en architecture et enseignant (Université de Coimbra, Université de Porto), dans le cadre du séminaire « Espaces et lieux de musique : le musicien, l’architecte, le spectateur et le politique », coordonné par Claire Guiu, Denis Laborde, Karine Le Bail et Michael Werner (CRIA-EHESS).
Casa da Música (House of Music), the recent Porto Concert Hall, is one of the most emblematic public works carried out in Portugal over the last decade. Its cultural program, as well as the architectural competition that led to the choice of the building - signed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA -, constituted a major political stake of the international event Porto 2001, European Capital of Culture. After its completion, in 2005, Casa da Música became, at once, one of the major European architectural icons of the last decade, introducing, in Porto, what some critics call the Bilbao effect, recalling the economic and touristic vitality that such architectures often introduce in middle-sized cities, as happened with the famous Guggenheim Bilbao Museum (1997). However, unlike the case of Bilbao, Casa da Música does not result from any imposed policy of "cultural franchising" (through a top-down logic) but, instead, from an ancient aspiration and demand by the Portuguese artistic milieu, and by Porto musicians in particular (that is, through a bottom-up logic). The polyhedric building proposed by Rem Koolhaas emphasises the long western avenue of the city - Avenida da Boavista - and announces, in scale and form, the uniqueness of its contemporary musical programming. In fact, Casa da Música has proven its relevance within the Portuguese cultural panorama - it houses the Symphonic Orchestra of Porto, a Baroque Orchestra, and an Ensemble for Contemporary Music (Remix Ensemble) -, but also abroad, integrating various international cultural networks such as Réseau Varèse and Réseau Européen de Musique Ancienne. Like the building, its cultural program is also polyhedric, covering various facets of musical creation (classical and contemporary) and targeting different audiences. Inside Casa da Música, a complex ambulatory space motivates a kaleidoscope of events – in the exuberant main Auditorium (1300 seats), a voided "shoebox" shaped room opened to the city in its two top sides; in the intimacy of the Small Auditorium (300 seats); or in several other informal spaces like the Parking Garage often used for experimental concerts. Outside Casa da Música, the waving plasticity of the surrounding plaza implies new enjoyment areas for urban daily uses, sometimes spontaneous, sometimes planned, especially on summer festival nights. These areas are continually experienced by musicians and Djs, and informally appropriated by city bikers and skaters. Casa da Música is, therefore, a cheerful encounter between a powerful architectural “hardware” and an ecumenical cultural "software".
- FUNDAÇÃO CASA DA MÚSICA, Casa da Música/Porto (2 Vol.). Porto: Fundação Casa da Música, 2008
- GRANDE, Nuno, “El fantasma de la Ópera. Un auditório de Koolhaas en Oporto”, Arquitectura Viva, nº 96. Madrid: Arquitectura Viva SL, 2004, pp.82-83
- GRANDE, Nuno, “Sígnales Extraños. La Casa da Música de Koolhaas en la cultura urbana de Oporto”, 2G Dossier, Portugal 2000-2005, 25 edificios del siglo XXI. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, 2005, pp.128-137
- GRANDE, Nuno, “VIP3, Very Irregular Polyhedric Room, Casa da Música” (Premios FAD 2007), ON Diseño, nº295. Barcelona: ON Diseño, SL, 2008, pp.282-287
- KOOLHAAS, Rem, “Copy and Paste”, in Content, Preverted Architecture. Köln: Taschen, 2004, pp.302-315