“The winning design was my favorite from the beginning, mainly because it comes with something we don’t have in Prague yet. The place will now live from the river to the roof – the terraces of the Philharmonic will be publicly accessible directly from the adjacent square, so this building will be really enjoyable by everyone. That is, even those who are not fans of classical music, ”said Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates).
According to him, the architectural competition dealt with three things at once. “The surroundings of the Vltavská metro station are currently a place that is not very attractive to visit, and that will change. In addition, the new Philharmonic building brings a different type of tourist to Prague, and thanks to it, our city will also acquire modern architecture that fulfills the work of our ancestors, ”added the mayor.
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“The Bjarke Ingels Group studio is currently the absolute world leader, but I was still surprised by what this team was able to come up with. I am convinced that the building will immediately become an icon, a symbol of Prague. It is open to all, and yet it has a clear order. The authors have a great understanding of where they put the building, but at the same time they come to Prague with a completely new approach to public space. They make us think more about it and bring us closer to our river. I’m already looking forward to the BIG concert, “said Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček (STAN).
Music house open to all
The winning design envisages the construction of three halls, there will also be a music department and a creative hub of the Municipal Library in Prague. The Vltava Philharmonic Orchestra will also become the seat of two orchestras – the Prague Symphony Orchestra FOK and the Czech Philharmonic. Both will find suitable residential premises here, as well as facilities for expanding their educational programs for the public. Music schools of various levels will also be involved, which will be able to use the premises of the Vltava Philharmonic for their teaching.
Visitors to the Philharmonic can look forward to, among other things, the café or rooftop restaurant. This will be a kind of continuation of the public space of the square – the stepped form will allow those interested to climb to its top without entering the building. Everyone will be able to determine an impressive panoramic view of the whole of Prague.
Ski slope in the incinerator
Atelier BIG has already wanted to establish itself in Prague. Many years ago, they prepared proposals for the transformation of the Waltrovka complex, which they eventually found out according to other plans. Recently, a Danish studio also participated in the Florenc 21 competition.
The team of architect Bjarke Ingels and Brian Yang has completed projects around the world. For example, their incinerator and power plant in Copenhagen, which includes a ski slope leading from the factory roof, has become iconic.
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In New York, BIG architects designed the repair of a three-story highway in Brooklyn, which they placed underground and a park and promenade were created above the highway.
The first tones in 10 years
The International Architectural Competition for the Form of the Vltava Philharmonic was announced by the City of Prague together with the Institute of Planning and Development of the City of Prague (IPR) at the end of last August. A total of 115 teams from 25 countries entered the competition, and five renowned architectural studios were also invited to participate in advance. In November, an international jury announced the selected finalists – they subsequently submitted 19 competition proposals, of which the winner won in May this year. In addition to the BIG studio, the top five also include Barozzi Veiga + Atelier M1, Bevk Perović Arhitekti, Petr Hájek Architekti and Snøhetta.
After confirming the results of the architectural competition by the City Council. In June of this year, negotiations on a contract for the completion of the design, processing of project documentation with the winner and obtaining the necessary permits to start construction will follow.
The final stage should begin with the selection of a construction company in the course of 2026, with the start of construction work expected a year later in 2027. The new concert hall should be completed in ten years, ie in 2032.