RFQ: Win $830,000 by designing a concert hall to catalyze the revitalization of this post-industrial waterfront brownfield district

On August 12, 2021, the City of Prague, Czech Republic launched an architectural design competition for the Vltava Philharmonic Hall. This new building will become a new city landmark, a heart of a future new municipal district.

The Vltava Philharmonic Hall will also launch and accelerate the revitalization of one Prague’s largest brownfields: the Bubny-Zatory redevelopment zone, for which it will provide a new urban center. The construction of the Vltava Philharmonic Hall will perpetuate Prague’s international reputation as a cultural capital.

The main concert hall will be The Vltava Philharmonic Hall’s soul. Next to this, there will a chamber-cum-multipurpose hall and other spaces for smaller events. Built around a music library, this area of the building will have rehearsal rooms, teaching areas, and studios.

Naturally, the complex will also have a restaurant, a café and various other refreshment facilities. The building will include a creative hub.

The Vltava Philharmonic Hall will have two resident orchestras: the Czech Philharmonic and the FOK Prague Symphony Orchestra.

Outdoor public space, which will offer opportunities to meet, rest or host various sorts of activities and events, will be integral to the whole project. All this combined will make the Vltava Philharmonic Hall a cultural centre that will be vibrant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, attracting a wide range of visitors.

As the Vltava Philharmonic Hall will have to meet contemporary standards in its technical, urban development and architectural parameters, the winning study must place a stress on delivering a flawless spatial and visual design with top-class acoustics in the concert halls. Sustainability of operations is an essential aspect.

The 4 hectare (10 acres) plot earmarked for the Vltava Philharmonic Hall is located within Prague’s broader centre on the bank of the Vltava River, thus naturally continuing the tradition of placing prominent buildings alongside the river.

The site is well served by transport links, a factor which is both an advantage and a challenge for the teams participating in the competition. The project must integrate all local thoroughfares and interlock them harmoniously with the public space surrounding the building.

In total, 20 tenderers will be competing: in October, on the basis of the portfolios submitted, an international jury will pick out 15 teams that – with a further five directly approached candidates – will be invited to draw up architectural designs for the Vltava Philharmonic Hall.

Candidates may send in their portfolios until September 30, 2021.

The winning design will be announced in spring 2022. The competition prizes are worth approximately EUR 707,500 ($831,311 US).

See the competition’s website.

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