Vilnius is the capital and also the cultural centre of the Republic of Lithuania. It is the home base of the professional musical culture and of Lithuania’s two most important symphony orchestras. The city lacks a concert hall that satisfies the worldwide natural acoustic standards and is also capable of seating at least 1500 concertgoers. Vilnius’s new national concert hall is required to meet the highest international standards for acoustics, functionality and logistics and to become a new icon for the city.
City and building in harmony
The new concert hall in Vilnius is required to meet the highest international standards for acoustics, functionality and logistics and to become a new icon for the city. ‘Tautos Namai’ has been designed to be the most public building in Vilnius. In addition to a splendid space for holding world-class classical music concerts, it offers the city’s inhabitants an exceptional landmark. To foster the relationship between building and city, it connects on all sides with its surroundings. Owing to the public programme on the ground floor, the building acts as a permeable platform on top of Tauras Hill.
The design completely embraces the green character of Tauras Hill. The building’s ground floor engages with the sloping terrain of the surrounding park. This is achieved by way of sculptural retaining walls with seating, thereby simultaneously creating unique small spaces for spontaneous performances or open-air concerts. On the south side, the connection between building and park is defined by a small square and the Wintergarden. The latter merges with a raised terrace that in turn links up with the balcony around the concert halls and has the potential to connect the small park with the street.
Concert in the park
The building has an arched roof beneath which are three halls: a large hall, a small hall and a ‘park hall’. All three have a strong relationship with the park so that every concert or performance can be experienced as a concert in the park. The large hall is dug into the ground, generating an open relation between parterre and balcony level. This transparency continues above balcony level, rendering the interior of the large hall visible to the city and part of the park. The small hall is connected to the park by a huge glazed facade: a dramatic window facilitating two-way views between hall and park. The park hall is open on both the north and south sides, creating a visual and physical connection along the central axis of the building. In the design the park hall serves as the logistical hub for the public, guests and daily users, and has the potential to be used for public events. A wrap-around balcony raised five metres above the ground offers concertgoers a panoramic view of Vilnius. It does not aspire to be a lookout tower; rather, it links the foyers and the park hall with the surrounding green landscape on a human scale.
‘Tautos Namai’ is an elegant and transparent structure that breathes music, culture, education and conviviality. A building that can be appreciated by 2,000-plus visitors during a large-scale concert as well as by musicians studying in peace and quiet.
commission: design of national concert hall | location: Vilnius Lithuania | client: Vilnius city council | program: three concert halls (large hall 1,500 seats, small hall 500 seats), restaurant, foyer, exhibition space, educational centre, shop and logistical areas | floor area: 17.000 m² | design: 2019 | collaboration: Sweco Lithuania and Nagata Acoustics