Porto is known for its very old town center, where block after block of well-preserved buildings are hundreds of years old. Our guide Christina Duarte told us that when developers want to reconstruct or repair an exterior, everything must be rebuilt exactly the way it was found.
But Porto is also looking to the future. I visited the futuristic Casa da Musica, designed by the same architect, Rem Koolhas, of Holland, who co-designed the new Public Library in downtown Seattle, where I live. They were both finished around 10 years ago and in the world of architectural design are termed post-modern.
From the outside, it is sort of odd looking.
But inside, on a guided tour, it gets interesting, especially if you play music, or love it.
The Casa is both for professionals and the public to use, not just a professional performance hall. It has a large concert hall, a more intimate concert hall, recording studios, practice studios, listening rooms where the sound system can be fine-tuned to fit the music and needs of listeners. It has two children’s rooms, one orange (active), and one purple (calming). Most interesting about the interior is the way ambient light is allowed in.