BIG's sloping concert hall will invite visitors onto its roof
High-profile firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has been commissioned to design a distinctive concert hall in Prague, Czech Republic. The Vlatva Philharmonic Hall will host multiple performance spaces and will be defined by its sloping balconies, which will function as an extension of the surrounding plaza and allow members of the public to walk right up onto its roof.
The Vltava Philharmonic Hall, which is named in honor of an adjacent river, is part of a larger redevelopment project to transform a sizable brownfield site in Prague into a new district, including the construction of homes for 25,000 people.
The building will measure 49,715 sq m (roughly 535,000 sq ft) and feature significant use of locally sourced timber and generous glazing. Its sloping design, which which echoes the firm's Audemars Piguet Hôtel des Horlogers, will create multiple spaces to enjoy the view – both of the city and inside the building itself – and provide a space for hosting informal outdoor performances. A restaurant will also be sited on the roof.
The Vltava Philharmonic Hall will serve as home to two orchestras: the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK and the Czech Philharmonic.
Visitors will access the interior through an impressive grand foyer connecting to the main music hall, with a capacity for up to 1,800 people, plus there will be two smaller secondary performance spaces. Elsewhere will be music schools, a creative space for the Municipal Library of Prague, and a cafe. A plaza and surrounding pathways will also improve access to the waterfront.
"The Vltava Philharmonic Hall is composed as a meandering journey from riverbank to rooftop," explained Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Partner at BIG. "Public flows and belvedere plazas 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. 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."
The Vltava Philharmonic Hall was commissioned following a major design competition including some of architecture's biggest names, such as MVRDV, Snøhetta, and Jean Nouvel. It's still very early days yet however, as construction is not slated to begin until 2027, with completion expected a full decade from now in 2032.
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