Imposing and modern architectural design of the French Christian Portzamparc, with its concrete sails hoisted between the sea and the mountains of the West Zone of Rio de Janeiro, the City of Arts is already a landmark. It became a point of reference in the city for its bold design and for taking to a region devoid of spaces for artistic presentations of quality a cultural pole that offers, among other facilities, one of the best equipped rooms of spectacles of South America.
The building is surrounded by a parking lot with a capacity of 750 cars
In addition to the Grand Hall with a capacity for 1250 people, the complex has a 450-seat Chamber Theater, Art Gallery, Electro-acoustic Music Room, multipurpose rooms, modern rehearsal rooms and spacious dressing rooms. Coexistence. The box office is set up on the ground floor, in the middle of the “candles”, which replaced the pilotis with its concrete walls. Among the large concrete candles pass all the facilities of the building. Also on the ground floor is the large mirror of water, intersected by the covered courtyards and from which stand strong columns. In the terrace Luiz Paulo Horta, on the first floor, suspended ten meters from the ground, where you arrive by escalator or elevator, are the main facilities.
The place chosen for the operation of the City of Arts, Barra da Tijuca, with its large free areas and lack of entertainment and cultural services was considered the appropriate place to receive visitors from all parts of the city. At the same time, the idea was to bring a new cultural dimension to this region of Rio. Thanks to the new works designed by this Administration to attend the World Cup and the Olympics, access to the City of Arts is quite easy, with the end point From the BRT buses behind the complex and a subway station, linked to the arts center via the surface subway. In addition, the building is surrounded by a parking space with a capacity of 750 cars.
The large terrace that houses the rooms distributes the activities and welcomes the public with a cover 30 meters high is a block leaked by transparencies. The French architect adopted the notion of “perforated bricks”, which form large blocks through which air circulates. The concept of high and void volume was immediately approved because, in addition to beautiful, it brings an architectural language consistent with the climate of the city. Portzamparc states that under this enormous ceiling “the volumes of the music, dance and cinema rooms would be distributed and would open between them to the passage of light, of movement.” From the beginning, it was thought to install the different rooms in separate, separate and acoustically isolated volumes. In the way they were constructed, like closed cocoons, the rooms can simultaneously perform different spectacles without one being disturbed by the other.
The Great Room, of multiple use, establishes a very peculiar and special spatial relation between public and artist. Their staterooms are multi-story towers, which create the impression of a mysterious, intimate and dilated space, according to Portzamparc. The stage is transformable. It can be a place for concerts, opera, theater, shows.
The foyer leading to the Great Hall is filled with walkways, stairs, bridges and windows, which allow the public to pass from the exterior to the interior of the room, and lead to the various floors of the theater.“It is the pretext for the pleasure of a ride in space. It is a game in itself of going up, down, and circling.It is already a kind of theater in three dimensions of the audience with himself, “says Portzamparc.
The Chamber Theater room has two different scenic settings. This is possible thanks to the circular platform on which the stage and the first rows of the audience are installed. It can serve as the classical front room for theater and music or a kind of amphitheater.
The interior of the rooms has sound insulation of such quality that it is possible to record a show without listening to the planes and helicopters that pass by. The finishing of the rooms with the sound treatment was done by the engineer specializing in acoustics, the Chinese Xu Yaing. “The geometry, the angles and the various depths of the towers’ surfaces are excellent for the diffusion and diffraction of sound and function as the baroque decoration that was in the traditional halls of Berlin or Vienna, which was abolished by modern architects,” says Xu . “Thus, the towers collaborate so much to improve the acoustic quality of the room in general, as to offer the public the best positions to listen to music.”
All care was taken to meet the needs of theatrical planning in terms of inflow and outflow, spacious cushions, storage of equipment and instruments, support rooms, workshops, rehearsal rooms.
The transformation of the center into City of Arts was based on the idea of seeking a wider range of cultural activities concentrated in one place. The center has an art gallery prepared to host temporary exhibitions.
An important space for cultural diffusion is the Reading Room, set up to attend to the population with printed and virtual collections and to carry out actions involving reading, books and art and education.The activities, which are free, take place in all the free spaces of the City of Arts, with storytelling, poetry saraus, meetings with authors and illustrators and book exchange. The idea is to open the doors of the City to the population of all ages and social levels. The Reading Room is fully computerized and, in addition to books, offers DVDs and CDs for consultation.
The City of Arts consolidates the vocation of Rio de Janeiro as the cultural capital of the country, elevates the city to an international cultural level and creates a culture pole capable of forming new, qualified and demanding audiences.