Massive yet gentle, the Mozarteum Brasileiro Theatre by Luxembourg’s Valentiny HVP Architects provides a permanent home for a major Brazilian music festival.
The Mozarteum Brasileiro Theatre, situated in the town of Transcoso, in Brazil’s Bahia state, allows music-lovers to enjoy concerts in two separate but overlapping audiences, one open air and the other indoor. Known for its cultural projects, Valentiny HVP Architects executed both the aesthetic and acoustic design of the concrete amphitheatre, with a gently curved, shell-shaped structure that perfectly integrates with the surrounding natural environment.
The building was constructed with a straightforward concrete and steel composition, and its light-toned shotcrete walls were left unfinished so that festive lighting could be projected onto the building, which is beautifully reflected in the adjacent pond. The theatre’s two seating levels each accommodate an audience of 1,100, while a secondary structure houses eight rehearsal spaces, meeting rooms and a bar. Triangular slices, alternately pointing upwards and downwards, provide entrances and windows in both the theatre and the facilities building.
The building forms’ seeming bluntness is countered by the intricate artwork set within a selection of the triangular cutouts. Brazilian artist Maria Bonomi created the large etched bronze panels, which reference the local landscape. The natural beauty of the rural area of Transcoso also inspired François Valentiny’s vision for the simple yet elegant design of the theatre as a whole. The architect began work on the commission in August of 2012, shortly following the inauguration of the music festival Música em Trancoso, and completed it just in time for the 2014 edition, which took place March 15 to 22. The organizers call the Mozarteum “the supreme symbol of the festival’s sustainability ideal.”