AL_A has been named the winner of an international competition to design a new philharmonic concert hall in Belgrade.
The London-based firm beat out seven other finalists in the UNDP-sponsored contest that will bring a record amount of cultural spending to the region in the form of a four-part,1,600-seat concert venue overlooking the Blue Danube.
The overall development will include at least four distinct venues surrounding a circular core social area, with back-of-the-house operations sharing space on the development with a newly formed town square.
Serbia's Prime Minister Ana Brnabić called its approval a “decades-long dream,” adding her belief that “Investing in culture and in education is crucial for setting the pillars of a succesful and strong modern country […] I strongly believe that it will become another regional hub for making contacts and knowledge exchange, with the flow of creativity, ideas and experience of both domestic and foreign artists.”
Outside, the building is intended to have a panoramic effect with a rippling materiality that takes cues from the surrounding natural water source and changing seasons in what its designers hope will “signal a new monument to culture.”
AL_A founder Amanda Levette said: “You couldn’t dream of a better site than this to message Serbia’s vision for the future. The magnificent setting of Ušće Park, on the banks of the River Danube, sends a powerful message about transforming and rewilding our cities to make them greener, more beautiful spaces. The Concert Hall will be an expression of harmony between nature, architecture and music, at a pivot point in Europe where East meets West. It will be a place where people from all places and cultures, of all ages and abilities, come together to delight in music from every genre.”
VDLA will handle the landscape design for the further developed concept. AL_A worked with engineers AFA Consult and local architects Zabriskie as well as Arup who produced technical specifications for the hall’s acoustic performance. More project updates will be shared as they are made available.
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