Green Art Zone in Bydgoszcz is an attempt to solve a complex issue of undeveloped urban area situated at the very centre of Bydgoszcz – next to the Brda River and the main traffic routes, near the Old Market Square and the most important architectural objects, including the busy Opera Nova. The Theatrical Square mentioned above has had an incredible history. It has seen the fires of two theatres and a partial burning of the third-time rebuilt theatre. Now, after three years, only its name has remained. The square itself serves as a car park. The choice of function for the designed building seemed to have been obvious. The Theatrical Square will have its theatre back!
The main idea behind the project is to join nature with architecture and culture with leisure in harmony. The design conforms with Opera Nova as the urban and architectural dominant in the area. The new theatre building is not aimed at competing with Opera Nova, neither with its simple form nor with its size. Storage spaces and spare rooms, as not being very presentable, are situated underground. Only the main stage with its glass facade sits on the ground. Flowerpots can be found between the glass and the building walls. The above formal assumptions are symbolic representation of bringing the theatre back to life. Apart from it, the group of cultural buildings in the project includes, among others, a galery building which completes the Focha Street building development and a restaurant situated on the bank of the Brda River which cuts into the slopes.
The decision concerning traffic routes has been very important for the communication between the theatre and the existing urban solutions. Following consulations with the urban planning department, an underground tunnel and a two-level underground car park to serve local residents have been planned under the Marshal Foch Street.
What makes the area exceptional is water. Therefore, the development of the area emphasises the connection between the river and the city. The river bank area has been designed from the scratch. Its route and height configuration have been changed. Footpaths at the river bank have been diversified by footbridges, providing the continuity of the existing communication routes. Additionally, the wooden bridges cut into the river and create the visual effect of small water containers on the bank. Slopes have been designed to prevent potential bareers resulting from height differences in the area. They have been integrated with a nearby restaurant, which is connected with the theatre through its function but spatially belongs to the waterfront. It is covered with ground and grass to enable walking on its roof. Substantial amount of glazing and a wooden terrace where tables can be put out in the summer strengthen the impression of openness on water and the connection between water and the waterfront.
The slopes behind the restaurant change into green stairs leading to the theatre. There, you can lay down freely and have a rest or watch an outdoor performance. A square with shallow water container including streams of fountains and skylights has been situated directly next to the opera. The skylights allow to illuminate the underground car park during the day. On the other hand, artificial light coming from the car park will light up the water surface in the night, creating interesting visual effects. Pots with trees and bushes mark the area with greenery and create connection between the square and the opera with its oval shape. The whole square is a place of leisure for the opera guests, tourists and local residents.