Client: Vilnius City Municipal Administration
Place: Vilnius, Lithuania
Date: 2019 Competition
Type: Culture, Performance venue
Budget: €52 million
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev, Claudia Baquedano, Antonio Treglia, Viviana Dionisio, Carmen Gil Barbero
Tauras Hill in Vilnius was destined to become the Lithuanian Nation’s House location, a centre for Lithuanian Culture. The opportunity to build the Lithuanian National Concert Hall in this historical site represents a unique opportunity to capture the essence of a Lithuanian Nation’s House.
As opposed to the Trade Unions Culture House, built under the Soviet occupation in neoclassical style, our proposal is to retrieve some elements of the Lithuanian vernacular architecture to create the Lithuanian National Concert Hall as a literal embodiment of the Nation’s House. Lithuanians sing rather than speak, goes the popular adage. It seems therefore appropriate for the National Concert Hall to become the Nation’s House, and a representation of Lithuanian culture.
The future National Concert Hall will represent Lithuanian culture to become, the Nation’s House. For its figuration, we have taken the iconography of a traditional Lithuanian Homestead to carry the nation’s architectural DNA. Its pitched roofs and generous eaves will crown Tauras Hill with a peak, refer to the traditional domestic architecture in Lithuania (Tautos Namai), and dispose of snow and protect the perimeter from its accumulation to keep the building accessible from all sides.
The high-level roof openings will provide day-light and natural ventilation to the main hall at the centre of the plan. The generous eaves will ensure that people can walk safely around the building, protected from rain, snow and wind and will ensure the permeability of the building’s border, providing an active frontage to the visitors to the park. By scaling up the pyramidal shape of the Lithuanian Homestead we are hoping to provide a monumental coronation of Tauras Hill, presiding over the Vilnius skyline.
A truly contemporary architecture is not one that falls victim of global fashion and extravagance, but one that is able to update the local traditions to render the building timeless, and a representation of local culture.