Czech Jury Selects Final 20 Studios for the New Prague Philharmonic

The jury of the architectural competition for the new philharmonic orchestra on Prague’s Vltavská selected 15 studios that will prepare competition proposals.

Five studios previously addressed the city directly, so in total, the jury will select the winner from 20 proposals next April. 

Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) added that the municipality intends to negotiate with the new Minister of Culture on the previously promised co-financing of the construction by the state. The building should stand by 2032. According to previous estimates, the whole build will total 6 billion CZK.

Jury chairman and Brno’s main architect, Michal Sedláček said 115 candidates entered the competition, making it difficult to choose 15. He added 12 countries are represented in the 20 studios that will prepare designs. Five of them originate from the Czech Republic or involve Czech architects. 

“I think 20 studies are really a guarantee that we will get not only a few but many very high-quality proposals,” he said. The result of the competition should be published in May next year, after which it will be voted on by city councilors.

According to Hřib, in addition to the building, the solution of the public space around the building was also essential for the jury.

New Prague Philharmonic

“We want the philharmonic and its surroundings to live outside the performance itself. That is, to be not only a tourist attraction but also a place where Praguers like to go often,” said the mayor. The space is planned to comprise a part of the new district in the now unused area of Bubny-Zátory

The mayor’s deputy Petr Hlaváček (TOP 09) added that in addition to the competition, the city is continuing other preparatory activities, such as a survey of vibrations on plots or a survey among the public.

The working group at the municipality is also discussing financing, in which, according to the previous promise, the state should also participate.

However, the city will pay for the project documentation of the construction, which is expected to cost 750 million CZK. The mayor of Prague 7, Jan Čižinský (Prague Sobě), added that the city district has set up a skate park on the plots and is planning another sports ground there.

According to the city’s plans, the involvement of other investors — aside from state and private ones — should come next to the construction itself, which is now scheduled to start in 2027.

“We perceive great interest from the private sector,” Hlaváček said today. While they are likely to set up a fund, the form of financing has not yet been decided. The deputy added that with regard to the development of prices of construction works, materials and energy, the municipality expects continuous updates of the budget.

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, built with several halls, should house the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the Prague FOK or the music department of the Municipal Library in Prague.

According to the city, the complex will be open all day and will offer cultural spaces, cafes and restaurants. Further large-scale investments such as transport infrastructure, will be needed to renovate the surrounding, unused area. The municipality for the Holešovice-Bubny brownfield, where the site for the Philharmonic is located, is preparing a territorial study. Among other things, extensive housing construction is planned there.

Discussions about the construction of a large concert hall in Prague have been going on for decades. The hall could have been built in Letná in the 1990s — on the site where the construction of the National Library was also considered, according to architect Jan Kaplický’s design.

Japanese investors wanted to dedicate the construction to the Czech Philharmonic for the 100th anniversary. The then Minister of Culture Milan Uhde and Mayor Milan Kondr rejected their offer.

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