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18 May 2022

BIG's designs Prague concert hall to be vibrant centre of life
BY Tom Walker

The stepped design allows access to a rooftop square with a restaurant and café

The stepped design allows access to a rooftop square with a restaurant and café
photo: BIG Architects

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have been selected as the architect for the Vltava Philharmonic Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.

The first national concert hall to be built in the country in 100 years, the venue will be the home of the famous Prague Symphony Orchestra and will have an audience capacity of more than 1,800.

BIG – which won an international competition between 19 other architectural practices to secure the project – will work together with Theatre Projects, Nagata Acoustics, Buro Happold, AED, ETC and Systematica and Front on the development.

Featuring a stack of stepping terraces, the design of the building will create a number of innovative public spaces.

One of these is a publicly-open rooftop "square" with a restaurant and café, which can be accessed using the steps at any time of the day.

Inside, the hall comprises three halls, space for a music department and the creative hub of the Municipal Library of Prague.

Describing the winning designs, Michal Sedláček, chair of the competition’s jury, said: "Many things had to be taken into account when selecting the winning design.

"The site for the philharmonic hall currently complicates the opportunity for people to meet instead of encouraging it, so the emphasis was not only on the architecture and operation of the building but also on the design of the public spaces in the surrounding area.

"The Vltava Philharmonic Hall will become a vibrant centre of life in Vltavská street – a new city park will stretch eastwards from the building, the south side will open up access to the water, a square will be created on the west side and there will be a view of the new Bubny-Zátory district to the north.

"The building itself will be accessible from all directions and levels."



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