Visitor Centre and Open Air Theatre for the Iron Gates National Park on the Danube

The Visitor Centre is the gate for the spectacular Iron Gates National Park, extending from the banks of the Danube up to the crest of the Banat Mountains, in the south-west of Romania.
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Visitor Centre and Open Air Theatre for the Iron Gates National Park on the Danube

The Visitor Centre is the gate for the spectacular Iron Gates National Park, extending from the banks of the Danube up to the crest of the Banat Mountains, in the south-west of Romania.

Situated at the confluence of the Danube with the Berzasca river, the Centre enjoys magnificient views of the river banks and of the mountains; it provides easy acces from both the main road and the river and provides spectacular starting points for biking and trekking lanes along the north bank.

The main feature of the Centre is a protruding pier, extending from the linear wooden platform embracing the north bank of the river; atop the pier is the main building – the Open-Air Theatre. The platform crosses the Berzasca river acting as a landscaped bridge.

The Theatre has 250 places inside the open shell, extending to 600 places on the back platform; it is supposed to host the “Danube Festival” and various other events, functioning as an attractor for the National Park Area. The choice of an open-air performance area was ecologically motivated in order to cut energy consumption for environmental control.

The Theatre has a double shell concrete structure covered with white TXActive concrete (Italcementi photocatalytic “smog eating” concrete). The outer shell is perforated along the contour lines of an imaginary alphabet created by the iconic roumanian artist Stefan Calarasanu, symbolizing the long and intricated history of the site

The ancillary spaces are situated between the shells; a double flight of stairs is allowing visitors to step atop the outer edge of the theatre, enjoying tremendous views of the park and river valley.

The curved, dark walnut inner wall of the Centre is covered with gilded runes casted by the artist Călărăşanu. A shining undulating ceiling glimmers into the shadow of the outer shell.

TEAM

Architect: Ioan Andreescu

Colaborator: Alexandru Malaescu, Dan M. Munteanu, Paul Carabas, Ligia Stafie

Location: Berzasca, Caras Severin, Romania

Client: Berzasca Town Hall in association with the Iron Gates National Parc Administration Romania

Structural engineering: T.H.M. Plus

Design period: 2009 - 2011

Total built area: 6586 sqm

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