In August of last year, the City of Ostrava launched one of the most important architectural competitions in its history – for a brand-new concert hall. A building of this scale and importance will give an immediate and enormous boost to the city’s cultural prestige. For most people, Sydney will always be associated with its iconic opera house, and Berlin’s Philharmonie is not only a wonderful cultural venue, but also a much-admired example of experimental architecture. Ostrava’s new concert hall is on course to be a brilliantly creative work of architecture which will attract orchestras and audiences from all around the world.
Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura explained the project’s importance to the city: “By building a new concert hall, Ostrava will raise its profile as a cultural centre, enabling us to stand side by side with other major cities that already boast venues of this calibre. A concert hall with top-quality architecture and excellent acoustics always stimulates a city’s cultural and educational scene, as well as being a magnet for tourism. Besides its highly original architectural form, the winning design also features fascinating (and quite challenging) technical concepts which minimize environmental impacts, so the hall will be a highly sustainable structure with low operating costs. The last genuinely large-scale concert hall built in the Czech Republic was the Rudolfinum in Prague, but that was way back in the late 19th century. I am confident that our concert hall will attract musicians and audiences for at least as long as its Prague counterpart has done – thanks to the new hall’s outstanding architecture, peerless acoustics and its role as a hub for musical life in the region and far beyond.”
The competition jury met to evaluate the entries on Monday 1 – Tuesday 2 July. The members of the jury included renowned architects, invited experts and representatives of the City. The chairman of the jury – the internationally respected architect Krzysztof Ingarden – explained the final decision: “Why did we choose this design? Quite simply, it was the best. It’s an amazing work of architecture which very successfully handles the relationship between the existing cultural centre and the new building, as well as the interconnections between the concert hall and the city itself – including the park behind the current building. I’m sure that the winning design will become a prominent emblem of Ostrava, helping to breathe new life into the city.”
architect Krzysztof Ingarden (Ingarden&Ewy/ Krakow),
architect Rafi Segal (RSAU/ Princeton/ MIT Architecture/ Cambridge),
architect Valerie Mulvin (mccullough mulvin architects/ Dublin),
architect Jakub Szczęsny (SZCZ/ Warsaw),
stand-in jury members Adam Rujbr (Adam Rujbr Architects/ Brno) and Tadeáš Goryzcka (Kabinet architektury/ Ostrava),
director of the National Heritage Institute’s Ostrava branch Michal Zezula,
art historian from the National Heritage Institute’s Ostrava branch Martin Strakoš,
councilman: Lukáš Jansa,
head of the City of Ostrava’s Office of the Head Architect Cyril Vltavský,
director of the Jánáček Philharmonic Ostrava Jan Žemla,
acoustics experts Martin Vondrášek and Jan Košulič, tonmeister and technical expert.
The City of Ostrava was represented on the jury by the Mayor Tomáš Macura and Deputy Mayors Zbyněk Pražák and Zuzana Bajgarová.
Winning design (1st place)