27.9.2019

Vilnius National Concert Hall

The mountain and the cloud Our architectural concept for the National Concert Hall is based on the duality of two spatial themes: ‘the mountain’ and ‘the cloud’.

The mountain

The mountain emerges from the existing landscape and forms an extension of Tauras hill within the building. It appears as a sturdy, solid volume that contains an immaculate concert space inside. Multiple ramps and stairs are carved into the mountain, to give access to the diverse entrances of the main music hall.

On top of this an exterior path weaves around the mountain, providing public access to the roof of the building, for outdoor happenings or magnificent views over Vilnius.

The cloud

The cloud floats gently above the ground and eventually dissolves into the ceiling. Hidden inside the cloud, we find the small hall, as well as a number of additional cultural activities.

The cloud is built out of hundreds of cylindrical shapes, suspended from the ceiling, that filter the light, dim the acoustics in the foyer and create the effect of sheer veil.

The void

In the void between the mountain and the cloud we facilitate the ‘public space’ of the Concert Hall. The entrance facilities, lobby space, restaurant and other free accessible functions are located here. Just separated by a glass curtain façade from the surrounding park, the Nation’s house becomes an extension of the park and an accessible multifunctional platform for the city.

Andante at a walking pace, moderate When visitors have purchased tickets for a concert the journey continues on the mountain, that contains the main hall of the building. The mountain is a solemn and monumental part of the Nation’s home. The circulation on the mountain is separated from
the rest of the building by centralized ticket control at the start of the two ramps that give access to the left en right side of the main hall seats. Apart from efficient logistics, dividing people with and without a ticket for the main hall at the entrances to the mountain, the mountain paths create wide views over the foyer and the city and give a festive experience, fitting with the anticipation of a classical music concert.

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Entering the hall is a serene and magnificent  moment. The stage of the hall is sunken below the ground at -1 level, whereas the audience accesses the hall from level 1 and level 2, walking down to their seats, towards the stage. The organization of the hall is vineyard type, which is more democratic and allows the audience to surround the stage from all sides.

The tribune shapes are slightly irregular and asymmetrical, just like the rocky terraces of the mountain. The organ is placed in a niche, carved in the wall behind the stage. The choir balcony is also placed on that side. Dark wood floors and ceiling as well as the brass details of railings add to the chic touch of the interior.

Finale

The culmination of the building that crowns the trip, from the very bottom of the hill, through the park, to the Plaza and into the building, is the roof top of the Nation’s house. To get to this roof garden visitors can take the monumental staircase in the foyer, or take the public exterior ramp on the east side of the mountain. Both routes result in entering the impressive large terrace that overlooks the city centre of Vilnius.

The slightly stepping artificial landscape of the roof serves as an informal theatre, were the visitors can sit and enjoy a performance or simply have a panoramic view over the city.

The roof top bar is a perfect feature to facilitate various events, enjoying summer evenings on the roof of the Nation’s house. The underground levels mostly accommodate the ancillary and maintenance functions. The loading bay is located on the -2 level, therefore the spaces designated for the unloading, maintenance and storage of the instruments are also located in the vicinity. The stage of the main hall is connected to this level by a
hydraulic elevator. On the same level an area is reserved for the media professionals to conduct live broadcasts.

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Level -1 is accommodating backstage area access. It provides the musicians a separate entrance and privacy. The performers can access the stage directly from this level.

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