By Josh Niland|
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
BIG has been announced as the winner of a global competition to design the new Vltava Philharmonic Hall in Prague.
The firm beat out proposals by SANAA, David Chipperfield Architects, Snøhetta, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and other international studios for what is considered to be one of the biggest European cultural projects in recent memory. The concert hall will represent BIG’s first-ever realized work in the Czech Republic upon completion in 2032.
BIG’s founder Bjarke Ingels describes it as “composed as a meandering journey from riverbank to rooftop” and said it would be defined by “public flows and belvedere plazas [that] unite the city life of Prague to the music within.”
“Its halls are formed for sight, fine-tuned for sound, and orchestrated for functionality and connectivity,” he added. “From this rhythmic structure, a symphony of colonnades and balconies extend as platforms for public life. Expressive yet pragmatic, the new Philharmonic will ascend to form a key landmark for Prague — from river to roof.”
Featuring a shifting volume that changes orientation as it ascends from plaza level to skyline, the concert hall is programmed with a walkable roof à la the firm’s Copenhill development in Denmark and will host the music archives of Prague’s Municipal Library in addition to offering rooftop dining amenities to the public.
The 1,800-seat theater will host the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Czech Philharmonic, which will be relocated from the 187-year-old Rudolfinum in Old Town, and serve as the centerpiece of a new Bubny-Zátory district set to rise by the end of the decade and provide residential accommodations for up to 25,000 people.
With the win, BIG continues a year of competition wins and project announcements that has to date included a new ‘folding” neuroscience research center in Aarhus, a metaverse space for media giant VICE, a $600 million Robert de Niro-backed film studio in Queens, New York, and a major new European Commission facility in Seville, Spain.
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