Vltava Philharmonic Hall

Vltava Philharmonic Hall

Prague, Czech Republic


Size: 53,220 m2
Status: Design
Project Design: 2022
Address: Holešovice, 170 00 Prague 7, Czechia
Client: The City of Prague.

Design Team: Mecanoo and CHYBIK + KRISTOF.

Programme: Competition design for a cultural centre including performance halls, event and conference spaces, foyer space, exhibition space, workshop spaces, a creative hub (including a music library, office spaces, study rooms, recording studio and rehearsal rooms), production facilities, artist and backstage facilities, operational areas, restaurant, café and parking garage.

Photography: Plomp, Mangoshake, Mecanoo.

The new Vltava Philharmonic Hall is a contemporary symbol of culture, urbanism and architecture, offering a dignified representation of the Czech Republic in an international context. The design develops modern construction techniques, leading acoustic design of philharmonic halls, combined with glass art articulated in the form of the glazed facade. It directly refers to the tradition of the renowned Czech glassmaking school and presents it to a global audience. The design dedicates the most valuable position of the site – the corner of Bubenská Street with an outlook onto the Vltava River and the historical view of Prague – to the main hall and its foyer. This place offers a unique visual experience for visitors to the great hall.

The building, therefore, becomes a distinctive and understandable icon, which thanks to the wide riverbed of the Vltava River, also works with views in the distance. The new building respects the important urban and visual axis of two neighbouring buildings (Elektrické Podníky and the Church of St. Anthony of Padua). It seamlessly connects with the materials of the main hall and chamber hall. The chamber hall is intentionally located externally from the view of the dominance of the church towers, thus responding to the entry and exit of the busy future HOLKA footbridge also used by the inhabitants of adjacent districts.

The music library and creative hub can function as separate entities and can be accessed via two separate entrances. The main central space of the roofed atrium on the 1st floor acts as an entrance and interactive space for the music library. Similar to this space, the school hall uses elevations formed by the passage profile of the road under the building. All facilities within the music library and creative hub are within a ring encircling the atrium, spanning over two floors. A bar in the waterfront area offers both refreshments during the day and lively entertainment until the early morning hours. Combined with the public transport stop and the stage for mooring concert ships close to the embankment platform this area is constantly active.

All urban spaces that the building follows or directly creates have a scale characteristic of Prague and include a variety of uses. The design takes inspiration from the block (a specific structure of the local districts adjacent to the site), the division into public streets and squares and semi-public courtyards. The music courtyard has a public function with a similar community character. In terms of the connection of the building to the public space, the new Vltava Philharmonic aims to tie together the urban surroundings while at the same time developing and cultivating them. A diverse mix of identifiable urban public spaces have been created; the waterfront, square, courtyard, boulevard, street and alley. Collectively, a new music cluster in the heart of the city has been defined.

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