Architects from all over the world invited to Vilnius to design National Concert Hall

Vilnius Trade Unions Palace, a place for new National Concert Hall
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The contest expires in June, and it is estimated that the construction of the building should start in 2021. According to initial plans, Vilnius city dwellers and city guests would be invited to the new hall in 2023 on the occasion of celebration of the 700th anniversary of Vilnius city.

“The national concert hall The Home of Nation is planned to be one of the most important cultural objects in Vilnius. I invite and encourage international, world-famous architectural teams to design a modern space in Vilnius which would contain a hall suitable for symphony concerts, for entertainment activities and leisure time activities. Architecture of the building should become a new symbol of the city which would inspire and liberate the city from a narrow viewpoint and would reflect modern times,” – Vilnius city mayor Remigijus Šimašius said.

Participants of the architectural competition will be asked to design a building, two concert halls, spaces for lounge bars, a spacious lobby with a view of a breath-taking scenery of the city, and premises for any other cultural activities. The budget for design and construction works amounts to EUR 52 million. All object designing, construction and installation as well as land plot management related costs are included in this amount.

“It is a unique idea and a perfect opportunity for architects from all over the world to contribute to the creation of Vilnius history. It requires great responsibility and it is also difficult to organise international competitions of this type. However, as history shows this particular method of organising an architectural design competition can lead to success. In cooperation with the Lithuanian Union of Architects, UNESCO has done everything it could to make conditions for such contests possible. I see today as a historical day to Vilnius since the building is seeing the start of its history. I regret only about one thing regarding this competition, namely, that I cannot take part in this contest,” – Serban Tiganas, General Secretary of the International Union of Architects, said.

Apart from modern style and western quality, the terms and conditions of the competition state that the participating teams should understand the significance of the location of the building and the historical context – the former Trade Union building presently standing on the hill of Tauras as initially suggested by Jonas Basanavičius actually had to be the Home of the Nation.

“Ideas for architectural competition will be evaluated by an international commission: architects and other professionals from Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Lithuania. The winning idea should reflect and convey an easily transformable public space designed for education – changing expositions, meetings, creative workshops and other activities related to the idea of a house of nation and the history of Lithuania,” – Rūta Leitanaitė, Chair of the Lithuanian Union of Architects, said.

The architectural idea competition will be open for six months. Architectural ideas and inquiries will be accepted until 25 June 2019. The results should be announced in September with the subsequent exhibition of the design projects for the general public. Construction works are to start in 2020–2022, and the first concert is to be held in the new space in 2023. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the architectural idea competition drawn up by the city municipality, the new building should accommodate up to 1,700 persons in the big hall and 500 persons in the small hall. The architectural contest is organised in cooperation with the International Union of Architects, the Lithuanian Union of Architects and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania.

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