Render of The Vltava Philharmonic Hall on the river bank

BIG wraps Vltava Philharmonic Hall in ascending colonnades

Danish architecture studio BIG has unveiled plans for a national concert hall in Prague that features protruding angular colonnades, which double as large balconies.

Named the Vltava Philharmonic Hall, the venue will be built on the bank of the Vltava river in central Prague. It will be comprised of angled colonnades that will slope and extend outwards from the concert hall.

Render of The Vltava Philharmonic Hall lit up at dusk
The Vltava Philharmonic Hall is a concert hall that will be designed by BIG

The building, which will house the Prague Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic and the music department of the Municipal Library of Prague, will be characterised by its four stacked colonnades.

The colonnades will protrude in different directions and gradually slope upwards forming elevated walkways around the exterior, which were designed to become extensions of the street and Vltava square.

Render of The Vltava Philharmonic Hall from Vltava square
Renders show the concert hall with protruding angular terraces

"From the Vltava square, streets ascend upward connecting interior balconies with exterior colonnades and terraces," said BIG partner in charge Brian Yang.

"The Vltava Philharmonic Hall is composed as a meandering journey from riverbank to rooftop," said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels. "Public flows and belvedere plazas unite the city life of Prague to the music within."

Render of the elevated walkways at The Vltava Philharmonic Hall and its surroundings
Its collonaded terraces will become extensions of the street level

Bohemian Forest timber will clad the undersides of the protruding terraces and extend to the interior while expanses of glass will surround the main volume of the concert hall on each of its stacked levels.

According to BIG, the interior of the concert hall's foyer will be inspired by Czech glass artists.

Prague Hall, one of the building's auditoriums, will feature a timber interior to provide balanced acoustics while its audience seating will be arranged like "petals of a pinecone turned inside out".

"Arranged like petals of a pinecone turned inside out, the seats of Prague Hall are rotating within the compactness of a perfect square," said BIG.

"The seating rakes meet at their corners to allow physical connectivity between every seat in the audience, providing a greater sense of unity and shared experience."

Interior render of the timber lined The Vltava Philharmonic Hall
Renders show that timber will stretch throughout the interior of the Vltava Philharmonic Hall

Alongside its auditoriums, the top of the building will house a rooftop restaurant and ballroom that will frame views across Prague.

"Its halls are formed for sight, fine-tuned for sound, and orchestrated for functionality and connectivity," said Ingels.

"From this rhythmic structure, a symphony of colonnades and balconies extend as platforms for public life. Expressive yet pragmatic, the new Philharmonic will ascend to form a key landmark for Prague - from river to roof."

Interior render of a wood-lined concert hall
The building will house three concert halls

Construction is expected to begin in 2027 with the building projected to open in 2032.

BIG's proposal for The Vltava Philharmonic Hall was selected from a total of 19 international entries, which included proposals from SANAA, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Snøhetta, David Chipperfield Architects and Ateliers Jean Nouvel.

Elsewhere, AL_A revealed its plans to design a concert hall in Belgrade that will be covered in a draped canopy. In February 2021, plans for Diller Scofidio + Renfro's pyramidal Centre for Music in London were axed, following plans for a "major renewal" of the nearby Barbican estate.