The City of Brno has concluded the qualifying round for the design team of the Janáček Cultural Centre, comprising acoustics specialist – architect – designer, which will be designing the building’s interior layout, in particular the concert hall itself. Of four candidates, two qualified for the competitive round. The first of these is the trio comprising Nagata Acoustic America, Konior Studio and Architekti Hrůša & spol., Atelier Brno.
The second grouping is the pair comprising Ove Arup & Partners International Limited and ArchDesign. ‘I am glad that we have managed to move even closer to the moment when a new music venue of cutting edge parameters will stand on Veselá street. The qualifying round for the design team which will breathe life into the new hall ended today. I am very pleased that world leading companies have made bids in this tender, such that we will have much to choose from,’ says Brno Mayor, Petr Vokřál, of the qualifying round bids.
The fact that the teams are mainly international is no surprise. There are not many people in the Czech Republic with experience of building a symphony hall holding over 1000 people. No such venue has been built here for over a hundred years. As such, the city included conditions in its tender that each team as a whole must have constructed at least three halls for symphony music of the required capacity and natural acoustics, with practise or experience of buildings of a similar size in conservation zones. ‘I don’t think I’m being particularly presumptuous when I say that now we cannot make a poor choice. The acoustics specialist is the key person in the team and honestly no-one better could have made a bid. At the same time, I hope that the top-class candidates we have represent a certain commitment that we truly finish the project,’ says Brno Deputy Mayor, Matěj Hollan.
Nagata Acoustics, headed by Yasuhisa Toyota, has designed almost sixty concert halls around the whole world since 1971. During the qualifying round, it demonstrated its latest projects from Paris, Shanghai and Katowice, Poland. It is also known for the recently opened Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg. The team’s second member is architect, Tomasz Konior, who designed the hall in Katowice mentioned along with Nagata. The trio is completed by Brno architect Petr Hrůša and his studio as an entity ensuring the authorisation and qualifications required by Czech law.
The second grouping is centred around America’s Ove Arup & Partners (well-known under its former name of Artec) headed by Tateo Nakajima. This company too is behind dozens of concert halls around the world. In the bid, they demonstrated their halls in Wroclaw, Poland, Aalborg, Denmark and Quebec, Canada. Their hall in Lucerne, Switzerland is renowned, and mezzo-soprano and Hall for Brno patron, Magdalena Kožená remembers it fondly. Their team further includes Brno’s ArchDesign architecture and design studio.
The qualifying commission was headed by Brno city architect Michal Sedláček, coincidentally one of the few experts in the Czech Republic to have been involved in designing a concert hall of the required parameters. Sedláček worked as part of Frank Gehry’s team which designed and constructed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. ‘It was a massive experience for me, and as such I am very pleased now to be able to make use of it in my home town of Brno,’ says Sedláček.
The qualifying round is followed by the competitive round. The contractor will provide all current documents on the design and on its basis will receive a quote from the candidates for the preparation of documents for planning permission and design documents for undertaking construction. ‘As Brno Philharmonic, for example, we have made requirements for the complete orchestra facilities including cloakrooms and rehearsal rooms, along with the stage’s technical equipment and a recording studio,’ says Brno Philharmonic Director, Marie Kučerová.
The working title Hall for Brno (Janáček Cultural Centre) denotes the project of new Brno concert hall construction. It will provide a home to the Brno Philharmonic, recognized as one of the Europe’s outstanding orchestra. Its more than one hundred members have had to rehearse and perform in unsatisfactory conditions. The Philharmonic is currently based in Besední dům, the stage of which is too small. And the Janáček Theatre, the venue of many Philharmonic’s concerts, does not provide suitable acoustics. As a result, audience cannot hear the orchestra in its full cast.
“Hopefully, the audience will be able to recognize the quality of the orchestra thanks to the new concert hall and Brno will attract top artists from abroad, we have currently no place to invite to,” said Marie Kučerová, the Director of Brno Philharmonic.
The new concert hall offering 1250 seats and top-quality acoustic parameters will be located on the corner of Besedni and Vesela streets. The total cost is estimated at 1.276 billion CZK. The municipal authorities endeavour to have the construction begun in late 2017, therewith following up on the first phase of the project, the rise of underground garages.
Kateřina Konečná – JCC PR manager, 777 682 678, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.salprobrno.cz
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