The City of Vilnius and the Ministry of Culture have completed negotiations with the Spanish architecture studio Arquivio Architects, the author of the National Concert Hall’s project, which was declared the best at the international architecture contest last year. Yesterday’s signing of a contract on the design of the National Concert Hall “Tautos Namai” (Home of Nation) and supervision of the implementation of the construction project by the project parties ended a difficult stage, reaching an agreement on the scope of services, quality requirements, preliminary design deadlines and, finally, the price of design services.
The price of the services of design of the National Concert Hall “Tautos Namai” will be EUR 6.989 million (inclusive of VAT). This price also includes the cost of the acoustics project, which was entrusted to the leading Japanese specialists in this field.
“It is quite a paradox that we are signing a contract so important for Vilnius when activities of concert halls around the world are suspended. But I believe that this situation will change soon, and we will use this “pause in music” to prepare a solid project, waiting for the day when global cultural events will take place in Vilnius to finally come,” said the Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius.
The team of ten architects Arquivio Arquitectura (project manager Daniel Fraile) having won the open international contest last year signed a joint venture agreement with the architectural studio Cloud Architects which has an extensive design experience in Lithuania, hiring it for the performance of works. This is a common practice of foreign companies ensuring a smoother design process.
After the Ministry of Culture emphasized the importance of the acoustic part of the project, funders of the National Concert Hall project entrusted this task to world-renowned specialists – the Japanese acoustic engineering company Nagata Acoustics. The team of Nagata Acoustics, which has many implemented concert hall projects on the list of its works, notes that it uses a unique methodology scrupulously searching for solutions, also successfully applying computer technologies therefor. In order to achieve the highest sound quality, the plan is to not only model it virtually, but to also build an actual but much smaller prototype of the hall.
The complex of the concert hall and the “Home of Nation” hall will be built in the place of the former Trade Union Palace – on Tauras Hill, near the park and the Lutheran Garden. The total area of the complex will cover 16 000 – 18 000 square meters. The Grand Concert Hall is planned to accommodate 1 500 – 1 700 listeners. It will be adapted for both classical (symphonic and chamber) music concerts and other genres of music (the plan is to adjust acoustic quality of the hall using tools of variable natural acoustics being designed). The Small, otherwise known as the multifunctional hall of professional performing arts, with 500 seats will be used for presentation of a wide range of genres of art. The third hall of the “Home of Nation” will be used for expositions, events and educational activities.
A separate, fourth, hall will be designed for daily activities of the resident orchestra, primarily for its rehearsals. It will be similar to the Grand Hall in terms of its acoustic properties, with the stage of the same size. The lobby connecting the complex will be adapted for the implementation of various temporary and permanent activities; a restaurant and a bookstore will also be set up here. The plan is to also use terraces and roofs of the buildings, opening up breath-taking view of panorama of the capital city.
Architects and engineers will work in cooperation with professionals in many fields, including acoustics, stage technology, various genres of music, dance, theater and other performing arts, also urban planners and heritage specialists. 27 November 2020 is considered the start of preparation of the technical project, and its completion is scheduled in early 2022. All stages, including coordination of solutions with the public, interim coordination with non-governmental organizations and stakeholders, must be completed till then.