Approved! Danish studio wins competition to design new Vltava Philharmonic Hall
The new Vltava Philharmonic will be built by the Danish architecture studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The city of Prague selected a total of 19 candidates through an international competition.
The Vltava Philharmonic Hall should have a total of three auditoriums: the main concert hall for about 1800 people, a smaller hall for chamber music with a capacity of 700 seats and a multifunctional hall for other genres and events with a capacity of up to 500 seats.
Bjarke Ingels Group plans to complete the new building, which will cost the city about six billion crowns, in 2032.
The main concert hall is expected to offer state-of-the-art acoustics, excellent spatial and visual characteristics, and facilities to match 21st century standards. The building is also expected to house Prague’s two important orchestras – the Prague Symphony Orchestra (FOK) and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
The building is also expected to incorporate the music division of the Prague Municipal Library and other creative spaces, which will be another important pillar of the building’s construction program.
It should also include a rooftop cafe or restaurant. The roof, which offers a view of the capital, will be part of the extension of the square that will be built in front of the Philharmonie.
The bold architecture of the Vltava Philharmonic Hall on the bank of the Vltava River will spearhead the revitalization of the industrial wasteland of Bubny-Zátory.
As a result, the Vltava Philharmonic Hall will become a new cultural center for Prague and the whole Czech Republic.
“We tried to imagine the Philharmonie as a contribution to the iconic Prague skyline. We wanted to create a connection between the river and the roof of the building,” said Bjarke Ingels, the founder of studio BIG.
Why does Prague need a new Philharmonic?
There has not been a new concert hall for symphonic music in Prague for over 100 years. The most recent, the Smetana hall of the municipal house, was opened at the end of 1912.
The Rudolfinum’s Dvořák Hall is even older, dating from 1885. Although both halls have been renovated, they are still quite historic. “Not only do they not conform to the requirements of the 21st century, but they also do not meet most of the requirements of symphonic music,” said Ondřej Boháč, director of the Institute of Planning and Development in Prague. (IPR Prague.
“Prague’s ambition is to present itself not only as a city of monuments, but also as a center of inspiring living cultural events. The implementation of the new Vltava Philharmonic Hall significantly reinforces and supports these ambitions,” he added.