Vilnius City Municipality has announced an international contest to design a landmark new €52 million concert venue
The single-stage competition seeks ‘innovative, quality, and unique’ proposals to replace the Lithuanian capital’s abandoned Soviet-era Trade Union House (pictured) with a major new cultural venue featuring a 1,500-to-1,700 capacity auditorium.
The project, planned to complete in 2023, will create a new headquarters for the Baltic state’s symphony orchestra and other classical companies on the prominent Taurus Hill overlooking the River Neris. Proposals must also include a smaller 500-capacity hall; a ‘House of Nation’ space dedicated to public, educational and cultural uses; and a strategy for the surrounding parkland.
The Trade Union House was constructed on a prominent site on Taurus Hill, previously earmarked for a national cultural centre during the republic’s brief period of independence before it was annexed by the Soviet Union. The building features several protected stained-glass windows.
The new concert venue is intended to realise Lithuania’s original ambitions for the site.
The call for submissions comes a year and a half after Adam Khan Architects and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios were among three teams named joint-winners in an international contest to design a £26.4 million concert hall in Lithaunia’s second city, Kaunas.
The latest competition – tol be conducted in both English and Lithuanian – is endorsed by the UIA and organised by the Lithuanian Union of Architects on behalf on the Vilnius City Municipal Administration and Lithuania‘s Ministry of Culture.
Anonymous submissions must include a written report of up to 14 A4 pages and six B1 sized display sheets featuring plans, diagrams and illustrations. Applications will be judged on their originality, urban quality, overall concept, economic feasibility and acoustics.
The jury will be chaired by Ole Gustavsen of Snøhetta and will also include Mindaugas Pakalnis from the Vilnius City Municipality’s Development Department; Fabrizio Barozzi of Spanish practice Barozzi/Veiga; and Xander Vermeulen Windsant from Austrian studio XVW.
Serban Tiganas, general secretary of the International Union of Architects (UIA) said: ‘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.’
The overall winner, to be announced in September, will receive a €60,000 top prize while a second prize of €40,000 and third prize of €20,000 will also be awarded.
The deadline for applications is 25 June.
How to apply
Senior Specialist of the City Development Planning Department
Vilnius City Municipality
Konstitucijos Ave. 3
Tel: +370 52112579