Arquivio Architects beats 250 rivals to win Vilnius’ National Concert Hall

Spain’s Arquivio Architects has beaten 250 competitors to win a competition to design the National Concert Hall in Vilnius, Lithuania. Its idea was to replace the Trade Union Palace on Tauras Hill that overlooks the city with three buildings and a plaza.

The international jury, headed by Norwegian architect Ole Gustavsen, said Arquivio’s solution provided "a clear and fitting" design that would satisfy the requirements for an open, multifunctional arts centre based on a premium, classical music concert hall.

The lobby outside the main hall, with views of Vilnius’ skyline (Arquivio Architects)

The buildings will include a great hall with 1,700 seats and a small hall seating 500 people. There will also be a lobby overlooking Vilnius’ skyline and facilities for other cultural activities. The estimated budget for the concert hall design service and construction works is €52m.

Mindaugas Pakalnis, Vilnius’ chief architect, commented: "By breaking down the volume of the building, the designers managed to create new functional and visual links between the Lutheran Square and the Tauras Hill, offering new possibilities to take a look at the lower terrace of the New Town and the Old Town, creating new public spaces. Obviously, a long and responsible work still awaits the authors of the building for us to be able to have an expressive, modern and iconic object."

Second prize was awarded to Fres architects and planners of France and third prize went to UAB Paleko Archstudija of Lithuania. The jury also gave an honourable mention to Smar Architecture Studio of Australia.

The "three volumes" (Arquivio Architects)

The top three received prizes of €60,000, €40,000 and €20,000. Speaking at the award ceremony, Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, the minister of culture, congratulated the winners, adding that he would like to see the National Concert Hall as an "inviting place, open to everyone, a place of harmony for people of different generations, views and tastes, bringing together Lithuanian citizens into a single creative space where we could create our own Home of Nation together".

Construction of the buildings is to start in 2021.

Top image: The interior of the concert hall (Arquivio Architects)

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