BIG wins the competition for the new Vltava Philharmonic Hall Prague

On May 18, 2022, the results of the international design competition launched by the municipal administration and the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Prague) for the construction of the new Vltava Philharmonic were presented live via streaming from the city of Prague. The winning project selected from the 19 finalist architecture firms was carried out by the architecture firm BIG. Also on the shortlist of the top five are projects for Barozzi Veiga + Atelier M1, Bevk Perović Arhitekti, Petr Hájek Architekti and Snøhetta.

The new philharmonie will accommodate more than 1,800 spectators and will be built on the Vltava waterfront, in an area destined to become an important bridge between the cultural scene of the old town and the contemporary one. Indeed, the philharmonic project will contribute to initiating the transformation of one of the most important disused districts of the city, where the new district Bubny-Zatory will be built. Respond to all requests arising from the context and the client’s specifications, the project created by BIG has a strong urban flavor.
The architects did not limit themselves to the Vltava Philharmonic building alone, but also proposed new solutions for the surrounding public space. In addition to the new district to the north and access to the river on the south side, a new civic park will be developed on the east side of the philharmonie, and a new square on the west. The building designed by BIG will make the waterfront easily accessible and attractive to the public. In addition, and this is its main feature, it will create connections with the urban context at different levels through a system of exterior terraces extending to the roof. The roof of the building will become an extension of the public square at ground level. Without entering the building, thanks to the system of terraces, the public will be able to access the roof and enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the river.
The choice of the main materials, wood and glass, underlines once again the urban aspect of the project, its openness to the city, as well as its link with the territory. The glass of the facade, in fact, echoes the long manufacturing tradition of the Czech Republic, and with its transparency will transform the Philharmonie into part of the urban context. Wood from the source of the Vltava River will be used for the ceilings, which will flow from the outside inwards in a symbolic opening of the building to its surroundings.
New Vltava Philharmonic will become an important modern landmark in Prague, a building that the public will be able to walk through and cross in different directions, just as the river crosses the city or the sound enters the listeners.

(Agnes Bifulco)

Images reproduced with the kind permission of BIG

Project data
Name: Vltava Philharmonic
Program: Cultural
Status: In progress
Size: 49715 m²
Type of project: Competition
Client: Institute of Planning and Development in Prague
Collaborators: Theater Projects & Nagata Acoustic (Acoustics), Buro Happold (Engineering), AED (Local Architecture/Engineering), ETC (Transport), Systematica (Mobility), Front (Facades), Mozses (Visuals)
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

group project
Partners in charge: Bjarke Ingels, Brian Yang
Project Manager: Shane Dalke
Project manager: Luca Nicoletti
Team: Sarkis Sarkisyan, Giulia Orlando, Matthew Oravec, Giulia Vanni, Jan Magasanik, Jeremias Sas Iros, Jonathan Chester, Khaled Magdy Zaki Ahmed Elfeky, Sorcha Burke, Clara Elma Margareta Karlsson, Mads Primdahl Rokkjær, Ondrej Slunecko, Tania-Cristina Farcas, Polina Galantseva, Yanis Amasri Sierra, Paula Madrid
BIG Landscape: Giulia Frittoli, Eleanor Gibson, Jialin Liang

Berta D. Wells