Vltava Philharmonic Hall

Vltava Philharmonic Hall

Architect
JAJA Architects
Location
Prague, Czechia | View Map
Project Year
2022
Category
Concert Halls

From Traffic Machine to Urban Catalyst

JAJA Architects as Architects

We envision creating the next generation cultural meeting point where the Philharmonic Hall and urban life merge into one. The starting point for our proposal is creating a high-quality public place to make a natural meeting point for both music lovers and the broad public. Building upon a human-centered and urban approach, we start molding the Philharmonic Hall creating a building with the highest ambition of public space and cultural experience, establishing a unique setting for 24/7 urban life and music along the Vltava. 

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Urban Catalyst

The mere size of the plot is so big, our proposal is as much urban development as it’s a building. We see the plot as a catalyst in the urban transformation of Bubny and Holešovice. The plot marks a cornerstone in the Holešovice Bubny – Zátory transformation plan and should mark a characteristic building and meeting place, while connecting the Holešovice neighborhood to the waterfront.

The Philharmonic is situated in the meeting of 2 axes, the beginning of the Magistral and the blue-green structure along Vltava River. We propose a hybrid building typology that meets the urban streets with a clear façade while stepping back offering the neighborhood and visitors a spectacular landscape and park overlooking the city of Prague. At the heart of the building are the Performance Halls. They are arranged in two monumental blocks; Main Hall to the east, Small Hall, Multipurpose Hall and Events Rooms and restaurant to the west, rising out of an open, welcoming and vibrant public atrium.

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360 ° Access

Designed as a natural integrated public landscape in the city, the philharmonic’s rooftop landscape is accessible for pedestrians from all four corners of the building. The landscape consists of a series of plateaus, pockets, and openings providing a porous landscape and a vibrant life around the Philharmonic. Centrally on the roof, the landscape raises, creating two monumental volumes shaped like a valley. The valley generates both a passage and a porous skyline and view corridor from north. In the meeting of the landscape and volumes, the façade is programmed with an active program that provides both variation and activity on the roof.

The Landscape concept is inspired the close relation of nature and Czech music. Just like a composition, our landscape introduces various sounds, spaces, and atmospheres. We introduce areas for pauses, resting, contemplation, but also intense and louder areas for activities and community. Composed with smooth walkways, large squares, smaller green enclosed spaces, and lawns, the landscape invites guest to sit or lie down in the sun among different plantings and spaces. From meadows with colorful flowers into areas with tall tress where the canopies cast a light shadow through and you experience the two concert halls raising from the landscape, representing something pure, the music as the core of the site. 

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The lobby and concert halls

Intended welcoming and light, the lobby offers a wealth of enticing internal and external views, encouraging visitors to explore and dwell. The main level contains many of the public and semi-public facilities including a food-and-beverage and retail, and Creative Hub to encourage day-long vibrancy. Higher levels wrap around the perimeters of the Hall Blocks and the perimeter of the building.

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Taking full advantage of the site’s location as a primary city ‘node’, the building is designed to welcome visitors arriving from any direction. The façade is activated at street level on all sides not only with food and beverage, and retail outlets, but also with practice rooms and inviting glazed views into the interior. Three main entrances at main atrium level welcome the visitor into the building. A range of other entrances provide access from the terraced gardens that comprise the layered roof of the building. The artist and staff entrance are also located at the main atrium level, located at the north façade.

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The central lobby space is framed by the two main halls and the atrium space giving the lobby clear central space with arms connecting to the activated facades and exterior. The atrium space connects the lobby with the roof through a generous amphitheater, offering a spectacular, yet intimate event space protected from wind and noise. Wrapped around the halls are the foyers (B.1, B3), a slightly sunken deck giving directly entry to the balconies in the halls. The foyers and lobby are separated with a bench, creating a supple yet functional division between different guest zones.  In the foyers there is access to bars, cloakrooms, and toilets.  

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