Christ & Gantenbein

The new Vltava Philharmonic Hall . Prague

Christ & Gantenbein

The new Vltava Philharmonic Hall is a perfect 72m cube that stands prominently at the riverfront, forming a metropolitan ensemble with a square and a surrounding park. Through its sheer size, it relates directly to the Vltava river and the city around it. Through its minimal footprint, it leaves space for a park with big trees and a grand public square.

The proposal is a concise Music Box that condenses public, music, and cultural production in a radical figure. The vertical stacking of the program is emphasized with big urban windows revealing the different foyers to the cityscape while allowing the city proper insights into the musical life unfolding within. The rhythm of the circular windows alludes to notation and score, ‘playing’ music to the surrounding city and its citizens.

Inside this new figure, the internal organization benefits from the precise structure of the building: four infrastructural cores arranged at the corner of a squared plan free the central space for large music rooms. Each level hosts a specific music hall with a foyer, and each level looks at the city. Panoramic public escalators along the Vltava river guarantee a fluid vertical movement for visitors through a simple but highly performative circulation system that climbs from datum to datum, level to level.

On the ground, directly accessible from the main entrance Lobby, one finds the “Black Box”, an almost street-like events space. The Chamber music Hall and the main rehearsal rooms are revealed on the second level, easily reachable through the vertical promenade. On the third level, in the heart of the building, the Main Philharmonic Hall surrounded by its generous foyers overlooks the city.

As for the other halls, the Philharmonic Hall is centrally placed in the square plan. The spaces around become a series of generous foyers with bars, restaurants, and additional amenities. The windows, always present, create monumental public zones and intimate corners. Crowning this figure, the Creative Hub, the Philharmonics public program, inhabits the rooftop and shares the incredible view with the entire city of Prague.