NATIONAL CONCERT HALL IN VILNIUS
The City of Vilnius has always been able to preserve and HIGHLIGHT ITS ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE, resulting from a slow process of historical stratification, AS AN EVIDENCE AND A SYMBOL OF CULTURE AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR. The main characteristic of the City was the HARMONIOUS BALANCE BETWEEN THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND THE BUILT-UP AREAS, as described by Almantas Samalavičius in “The vanishing genius loci of Vilnius”, easing the proliferation of numerous public spaces where to meet and socialize. At the beginning of the ‘90ties, the conquest of the Indipendence and the economic rise of the City, promoted a STRONG AND WIDE URBAN DEVELOPMENT, that deeply affected the historical image of Vilnius, giving the way to a more European city.The Old Town has expanded through numerous common attraction poles, alternating public and collective spaces, with historical-cultural buildings. During the Post-Indipendence period, the City started to set the basis for its future urban development, adopting “The Vision of Vilnius 2015” (1996) and the Master Plan of the City of Vilnius till 2005 (1998). More recently, the City of Vilnius agreed to adopt the “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan”, DESIGNING THE MAJOR GUIDELINES OF ITS FUTURE URBAN DEVELOPMENT. The most important goals to pursuit are referred to the harmonious relationship between the new buildings and the existing ones, the sustainable and efficient strategies of urban development and the reduction of the use of private cars, in favor of a more convenient public transport system, as remarked by the Competition Guidelines. After a careful analysis of the urban area surrounding the project site, it EMERGES THE PRESENCE OF NUMEROUS PUBLIC SPACES SET ALONG THE VEHICULAR AXIS OF PAMENKALNIO, PYLIMO G. AND KUDIRKOS STREETS, FROM THE GELEZIN STATION TO THE NEW CITY CENTER, that bends just close to our project area (NODE). Also, all the major cultural and historical buildings take place right there, extending along Gediminas Avenue, going from the Cathedral Square to the House of Parliament, highlighting the importance of the Project Node. The analysis showed how the described axis, that collects all the public spaces and the main cultural buildings, is the real boundary between the Old town and the new City expansion. So, the main challenge will be to LINK ALL THE COMMON BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC SPACES, TRANSPOSING, at the same time, THE SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES that the City intends to apply in the near future design of urban expansion. After a careful analysis of the urban area surrounding the project site, it EMERGES THE PRESENCE OF NUMEROUS PUBLIC SPACES SET ALONG THE VEHICULAR AXIS OF PAMENKALNIO, PYLIMO G. AND KUDIRKOS STREETS, FROM THE GELEZIN STATION TO THE NEW CITY CENTER, that bends just close to our project area (NODE). Also, all the major cultural and historical buildings take place right there, extending along Gediminas Avenue, going from the Cathedral Square to the House of Parliament, highlighting the importance of the Project Node. The analysis showed how the described axis, that collects all the public spaces and the main cultural buildings, is the real boundary between the Old town and the new City expansion. So, the main challenge will be to LINK ALL THE COMMON BUILDINGS AND PUBLIC SPACES, TRANSPOSING, at the same time, THE SUSTAINABLE STRATEGIES that the City intends to apply in the near future design of urban expansion.
Sound has the power to transcend, inspire and touch the human soul, and it always used to play a SOCIAL ROLE, besides a spiritual one, becoming a COMMUNICATION AND AGGREGATION VEHICLE, and OVERCOMING DIFFERENCES IN SOCIAL BACKGROUNDS. The changes affecting the ways of MUSIC CONSUPTION and the EVOLUTION OF THE AUDIENCE’S ROLE IN THE CONCERT HALL EXPERIENCE, have always been highly representative of the historical, economical and social situation that people were living.
Historically, Music was experienced in an extremely addictive way, involving a great and heterogeneous group of AUDIENCE, that, usually, used to BECAME AN ACTIVE PART OF THE PERFORMANCE ITSELF. The progressive SOCIAL SEPARATION, and the rise of the Midelle Class, entrusted an ELITIST ROLE TO MUSIC, which becomes more a cultural and learning tool. The audience was still actively involved in the performances, but these become increasingly scholarly, and A SYMBOL OF SOCIAL STATUS. The ADVENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES brought an irreversible CHANGE IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AUDIENCE AND MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, easing the PRIVATE MUSIC CONSUMPTION to greatly spread, and pushing the listener away from the live performances held in the Concert Halls. Infact, we live in a time where THE ENJOYMENT OF THE MUSIC, and more in general, of the entertainment, is MORE ACCESSIBLE AND INSTANT, due to the great number and variety of platforms as Youtube, Spotify, iTunes, Netflix, and more, that allow people to experience the performances while staying at home. There is a profund DETACHMENT between people and that deeply IMMERSIVE ENJOYNMENT OF THE LIVE PERFORMANCE. This led to a PROGRESSIVE ISOLATION OF THE MUSIC CONSUMPTION, preferring the on-line/on-demand experience to the live one. So, more and more, the IMMEDIATE AND ISOLATED CONSUPTION prevails on the MULTIDIMENSIONAL, IMMERSIVE, TRASCENDENTAL AND MULTISENSORY MUSIC EXPERIENCE, that used to physically and emotionally involve the listeners.
This reflection has led to a question about the FUTURE EVOLUTION OF MUSIC AND ARTS CONSUPTION, and, furthermore, HOW IT WOULD IMPACT THE CONCERT HALL.
It is almost impossible to forecast our lives evolution, and, consequently, how music consuption is going to change in the near future, but we can imagine that the Concert Hall would need to become a more attractive space, rising to be non only a place dedicated to music, but, more in general, a PLACE OF AGGREGATION.
“…for if one can hear and these days even see the pieces performed without going to the concert, THEN THE ACT OF GOING TO A CONCERT, when it is no longer necessary to do so in order to hear the works, TAKES ON A NEW AND MORE CONCENTRATED RITUAL SIGNIFICANCE.” With these words the musician and author Christopher Small (from “Musicking: The Meanings of Performing and Listening”, 1998) underlines how the Concert Hall represents a CONSCIOUS CHOICE OF AN ACTIVE AND DIRECT USE OF MUSIC. It assumes what we can define as a real CONCERT HALL EXPERIENCE, a transformative and very unique moment which would allow people to re-estabilish the active role they used to have. Informal, immersive, interactive environments, where human mind, soul and body are involved and connected. This has to be lived on a double track: it is a SHARED EXPERIENCE, seeking to strenghten the relationship between spectators and orchestra or performers; and a peculiar and extremely INTIMATE EXPERIENCE, highly subjective, aimed to re-establish the primordial human relationship with the sound. So, the CONCERT HALL EXPERIENCE, both shared or intimate, clearly emerges as an EMOTION that GOES FURTHER THE SIMPLE LISTENING OF MUSIC, and that INVOLVES THE TOTALITY OF THE OFFERED ACTIVITIES, SPACES AND RELATIONSHIPS AMONG HUMAN BEINGS AND THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT, RISING AS A SOCIAL MOMENT OF AGGREGATION.
CONSIDERING THE EXPECTED SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITY, IS IT POSSIBLE TO SET UP THE PUBLIC SPACES IN A UNIQUE SYSTEM? HOW CAN ARCHITECTURE AFFECT THE CONCERT HALL EXPERIENCE AND PEOPLE INVOLVEMENT?
The answer to how to connect all the existing public spaces, seeking the sustaibale development of the City, is the URBAN GREENWAY, that aims to AFFECT THE WAY OF THE INHABITANTS AND THE VISITORS EXPERIENCE THE CITY OF VILNIUS. The urban infrastructure, infact, will LINK THE INDIVIDUAL POTENTIALITIES of all the existing common spaces and public buildings, giving the way to a URBAN REGENERATIVE SYSTEM capable of acting both on a local and wider scale. Furthermore, it will IMPLEMENT THE GUIDELINES of the planned urban development strategy, SEEKING A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CITY.
The urban axis of Pamenkalino G., Pylimo G. and Kudirkos Streets would be turned into a NEW PEDESTRIAN GREENWAY, which not only would CONNECT THE GELEZIN STATION TO THE NEW CITY CENTER, but it would also ACT AS A BUFFER GREEN ZONE, between the New City and the Old Town. As for many international big Cities (the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston or the High Line in New York), the new green artery would deeply affect the transportation habits and the life in general of the citizens. Thanks to the TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE (T.I.), set in the public spaces connected to the new Greenway, the INHABITANTS WOULD HAVE THE CHANCE TO LEAVE THEIR CARS, continuing their trip on foot, by bike, with electric scooters and the public transport.
Vehicular approach is improved all around the project area, consisting in one main street (Pamenkalnio G.), two secondary streets (Tauro G. and V. Vkudirkos G.), and a new street that will led to the main access of the Concert Hall, all EQUIPPED WITH SEVERAL PARKING AREAS AND BUS STOPS. The new street will gets wider in order to ensure a drop off area right in front of the main entrance, for private cars or taxi. Main pedestrian paths are provided whithin the Tauros Hill leding to the Concert Hall entrance, linking a great variety of activities and outdoor functions. ESCALATORS for disable people and CYCLE PATHS starting from the new Greenway, will also be implemented.
The Tauras Hill, a nevralgic epicenter placed along the new Greenway, has a very high symbolic and historical importance, and offers a dramatic view of the City center. The landscape proposal for the Hill moves from the “Project Proposal for the Refurbishment of the Territory of Tauras Hill“, retracing the MAIN URBAN AXIS of the surrounding built-up area, to propose a WELL INTEGRATED PROJECT. The main goal is to PRESERVE THE VERY NATURAL IMAGE OF THE HILL, also by keeping the existing trees and green grass areas,that constitute the INHABITANTS MEMORY OF THE PLACE, proposing, at the same time, a pulsing network of pedestrian and cycle paths and functions.
The idea is to EMPHASIZE THE HILL PROTECTED SLOPED TERRACES, through paths and attractive functions, and transforming it into a place to cross to reach the new Concert Hall, or a relaxing and attractive area where to stay and enjoy all the activities. The access to the Hill is placed at the first level, from the new Greenway, with bus stops and parking areas. The second terrace houses the OUTDOOR AUDITORIUM, while giving the way to the third terrace with PAVED SQUARES, kids PLAYGROUND, SPORT AREAS and WATER FEATURES. The fourth terrace let the visitor to enter the Concert Hall complex through the LOBBY, while the fifth corresponds to the Lobby rooftop-PANORAMIC PLAZA, that offers a dramatic view of the surrounding City. The ACCESSIBILITY AND ATTRATTIVITY of the urban complex is ENSURED BOTH IN WINTER AND SUMMER SEASONS, proposing lot of FLEXIBLE FUNCTIONS ABLE TO ADAPT OVER THE DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES: for example, in winter time, the pond where the outdoor auditorium stage is placed, becomes an ice rink; or the sloped areas used for downhill mountain bikes paths, can easly turn into sleighing zones when covered by the snow.
The topic about how architecture can affect the Concert Halll experience and the people involvement suggested the idea of a PUBLIC HEART. A public EPICENTER surrounded by all the activities of the Concert Hall that allows the Visitors, the Artists and the Citizens to SOCIALIZE, generating a new community that encourages the approach to the music. The Concert Hall will become an ATTRACTIVE space, not a “once-a-year” event, becoming A SYMBOL OF A RENEWED SENSE OF COMMUNITY AND COEXISTENCE.
The first design action was to DEFINE THE PUBLIC HEART of the project AS THE LOBBY AREA. This is designed as an HYPOGEUM SPACE PLACED AT THE MAIN LEVEL OF THE COMPLEX, covered by a GREEN ROOFTOP well integrated with the natural slopes of the surrounding Tauras Hill to obtain a very naturalistic image. The hypogeum lobby will be ACCESSIBLE FROM THREE SIDES (two from the park, and one connected to the main drop-off area) ensuring the maximum PERMEABILITY of the space, and allowing the visitors to freerly cross through or conducting them through the CONCERT HALL EXPERIENCE, and all its HETEROGENEOUS ACTIVITIES.
The last action consisted in PLACING THE MAIN SCULPTED VOLUMES containing the functions AROUND THE LOBBY, shaping the central space itself.
The project is not a REGULAR BUILDING (1), but a new URBAN PLACE (2) where the people are eased to MEET AND SOCIALIZE (3) in the huge Lobby, can enjoy a CONCERT (4) or an artistic performance inside the two new Concert Halls (H1 and H2), can EAT at the cafeteria and the restaurant and VISIT (5) the exhibition area placed inside the Tower (O+E), can RELAX (6) in the numerous green areas of the park or can simply CROSS TROUGH (7).
The system will become A NEW PIECE OF THE CITY (8) for all the inhabitants of Vilnius!
The new Concert Hall is conceived as deeply RELATED TO THE SURROUNDING NATURAL AIM OF THE TAURAS HILL, proposing a group of three main sculpted volumes, that reminds to GEOLOGICAL SHAPES. The Complex is literally EMERGING FROM THE EARTH, integral part of the sloped landscape, and it evokes a very intimate atmosphere, related to the primordial essence of human beings and its desire for trascendence and congregation.
The INTIMATE DISPOSITION OF THE VOLUMES around the central public heart, AIMS TO INSPIRE A SENSE OF BELONGING AND UNION. In an era of further isolation, and at-home / on-demand access to music and entertainment,
the goal of the project is to celebrate the union of audiences and performers joining together around live music events. With a growing thirst for Meanings, PLACES FOR MUSIC AND ARTS ARE BECOMING MODERN TEMPLES. Functionally, the new Concert Hall is structured through two different areas: the first one, totally underground, counts two floors, that house all the functions of the BACK OF THE HOUSE; the second one, placed above the ground, is composed by seven floors, which welcome all FRONT OF THE HOUSE activities. The ARTISTS AND THE STAFF can enter the two underground levels by both pedestrian and vehicular access, and reach the main functions placed in the volumes through dedicated distributive cores. Instead, THE VISITORS ENTER THE COMPLEX DIRECTLY THROUGH THE LOBBY, placed at the Ground Floor, and enjoy all the activities through multiple distributive connections. The project has been represented through FOUR MAIN PLANS, that show the main functions of the Complex, distributed in a total of seven floors. The entire Complex develops an area of 16.600 sqm in total, considering a Footprint of 4.950 sqm, thanks to the hypogeum Lobby strategy. Starting from the LOBBY FLOOR (00 ACCESS LEVEL), it counts 7.900 sqm, including all the distributive paths and the vistitors lounge of the Main Hall, and all the levels of the Building 3 (Expo+Offices+Restaurant). The ARTISTS FLOOR (-01 LEVEL) consists in 5.600 sqm of surface, and the stages of the two Halls take place here. The MEP+PARKING FLOOR (PLACED AT -02 LEVEL), completely dedicated to the staff and artists, counts 3.100 sqm (excluding the Parking Lots area, as required by the Guidelines).
The -2 LEVEL BASEMENT FLOOR is dedicated to the PARKING LOTS (n.51) for the musicians and the staff, accessible through a vehicular ramp, TECHNICAL ROOMS, AND STORAGES. A loading dock area for trucks and vans is provided, with a separated zone for TV trucks. Two distributive cores take place here, and a freight elevator close to the loading dock and preparation room. The -1 LEVEL is COMPLETELY DEDICATED TO THE ARTISTS, with a CENTRAL COMMON AREA, visually connected to the Lobby, thanks to double height spaces. It is surrounded by common and individual rehearsal rooms, where they
can practice and prepare for the exhibition, a café and the changing rooms. At this level the musicians can DIRECTLY ENTER TO THE MAIN AND SECONDARY HALL, served by dedicated assembly areas. The Orchestra rehearsal room, with an height of 10m, is visible also from the cafeteria-library placed at the ground floor. The GROUND FLOOR IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PLACE OF THE COMPLEX, completely permeable and accessible by visitors from any point of the surrounding area: people can park in Pamenkalnio G., walk across the park and finally reach the Concert Hall complex, or they can have access directly from the main access square, near the drop off. The Lobby takes place here, with a central ticketing desk, through which it is possible to enter to the main activities, as the Main Hall, the Secondary Hall, commercial spaces, and the cafeteria-library. This CENTRAL PUBLIC SPACE IS SHAPED BY THE MASSIVE SURROUNDING VOLUMES, which surfaces are characterized by dark timber lamellas and huge displays, where it is possible to project advertising of performances and events. The +2 LEVEL FLOOR HOUSES THE OUTDOOR PANORAMIC PLAZA, that as for the Lobby at the Ground Floor, it is shaped by the surrounding main emerging volumes. Here it is possible to ENJOY A DRAMATIC VIEW OF THE CITY CENTER, in a natural and very intimate common space. The cafeteria set in the same volume of the Secondary Hall, and the exibition area that take place in the Building 3 can extend to the outside, in an attempt to enhance a further connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. Above this level, three more levels take place, set inside the Building 3, that house Offices (2 floors) and the Panoramic Restaurant on top; the volume housing H1 continues for just another floor, consisting in a hanging catwalk to reach the last balocnies ring.
Concert halls are the COMMUNICATION VEHICLES of the live unfolding of HUMAN CREATIVITY AND TALENT TO A CONGREGATION OF HUMAN BEINGS, voluntary joining together at a given time. Our halls are designed as VISUAL AND SONIC IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS FAVORING THE CONNECTIONS AND PROXIMITY BETWEEN AND WITHIN AUDIENCES AND PERFORMERS. Inspired from other-worldly Lithuanian poetry, the larger hall is conceived as a surround environment that bends
the concepts of space and time with a double skin architecture that blurs the line between space and non-space. The smaller hall acts as an immersive robot theater where an automated mechanized floor places audiences inside performance technology and music. Concert halls are often CATEGORIZED BETWEEN SHOEBOX, as heritages of 19th century concert hall designs; OR VINEYARD HALLS, derived from the 1960’s Berlin Hall designed by Hans Scharoun, attempting to bring everyone closer to the stage. A SHOEBOX hall places the MAJORITY OF THE AUDIENCE IN FRONT OF THE STAGE, providing good views to the entirety of the stage and desirable acoustics with the lateral sound reflections naturally occurring from the walls of a rectangular space. For some audiences however, a shoebox can be PERCEIVED AS FRONTAL, DISTANT AND UNIDIRECTIONAL. A VINEYARD Hall REDUCES THE DISTANCE BETWEEN AUDIENCES AND PERFORMERS, increasing performers’ presence, and creates new listening positions around the stage, as if the audience is part of the orchestra. But a vineyard hall also BRINGS THE AUDIENCE FURTHER AWAY FROM THE WALLS of a concert hall which in return
diminishes the impact of early sound reflections which are necessary for the acoustic quality of a music space. It also creates steep seating rakes around the stage which absorb sound more quickly and impact the responsiveness of the room and the sense of sound coming from all around. Our design attempts to EXPAND FROM BOTH OF THOSE ARCHETYPES BY USING AN INNER / OUTER BOX CONCEPT which separates, and maximizes, the impact of the elements of the rooms that are responsible for both the late and the early sound. The OUTER BOX SUPPORTS THE BUILD-UP OF REVERBERATION AND OVERALL
LATERAL AND ELEVATED SOUND; similar to a shoebox hall but with a better circulation of sound, un-occluded from balconies, and able to develop behind the audience. The INNER BOX IS A CAREFULLY SCULPTED AND ACOUSTICALLY OPTIMIZED ARCHITECTURAL LATTICE that surrounds groups of audiences which provides with the early reflections needed for the impressions of intimacy, clarity, envelopment of loudness; expanding from a vineyard hall that typically uses small walls or balcony overhangs that are often too small to efficiently reflect sound. The acoustics of the Hall results from the COMPOSITIONAL OVERLAY FROM BOTH THE INNER AND THE OUTER BOXES’ ACOUSTICAL CONTRIBUTIONS, CREATING AN IMMERSIVE, INTIMATE, CLEAR, RESPONSIVE AND ENVELOPING SOUND. The audience is laid out with 40% of the seats around and behind the stage, and 60% in front following an elliptical contour, providing good views to the performers but also creating a CONNECTIVE LAYOUT FOR AUDIENCE TO FEEL EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED TO OTHER AUDIENCE MEMBERS. A moderate number of seats are provided around and behind the stage, as certain instruments, like the piano, do not naturally project towards the rear.
Aimed for a wide variety of events and installation types, SECONDARY HALL IS CONCEIVED AS AN IMMERSIVE, TOTALLY RECONFIGURABLE SPACE providing a platform for experimental, multi-media, mix-genre events as well as recitals, dance, theater, small operas, chamber music groups, Jazz, Folk, Rock, dance music, fashion shows, conferences, workshops and meetings. It is precisely conceived as a creative experiemntal laborarory, where Artists can freerly express themselves, promoting heterogeneous events and performances.
Small Hall is envisioned to address 21st century needs for more interactive, flexible and informal environments for the arts and music, to ENGAGE AND EXPAND AUDIENCES with new works, and where the audience is placed within music or technology, and be given the possibility to SIT OR MOVE THROUGH THE ART. The whole space is conceived much more like the stage house of a theater, where THE ENTIRE FLOOR shared by both the audience and performers IS COMPOSED OF AUTOMATED FLOOR LIFTS, as well as the ceiling is a technical grid for lighting and rigging for all kind of performance technologies or sets. EIGHTEEN LIFTS COMPOSING THE FLOOR CAN BE RAISED OR LOWERED INDIVIDUALLY TO CREATE MANY AUDIENCE, STAGE, PERFORMER CONFIGURATIONS. The lifts lower into the undercroft space where deployable bleacher seating units on casters are stored, which are then rolled onto the lifts, brought up and deployed into the space to create all kind of seating riser configurations. The main configuration is the FLAT stage, where all the lifts are at the same level; the most typical is the FRONT stage, that stands right opposite to the audience; other configurations are RANDOM stage, where lifts are raised at different levels; IMMERSED (also RAISED) where the audience stands in the center of the space and the
stage surrounds it; STAGE IN THE CENTER, where the stage stands in the center of the space and the audience surrounds it; TRAVERSE (T and H shape) where the audience sits on both sides of the performance area; THRUST (middle and front) placed transversally towards the audience; DOUBLE ENDED, where the audience is on the short sides; RECESSED, where the lifts are lowered at the same level. Furthermore, the space can be set-up by lowering or raising certain lifts to create areas for performers, audience
or ambulatory areas, where THE AUDIENCE IS GIVEN THE POSSIBILITY TO MOVE THROUGH THE ART OR MUSIC. The lift system also addresses the challenges of IMMERSIVE INSTALLATIONS or MULTI-MEDIA PERFORMANCES where the audience needs to be at the center of surround sound or video technologies, by elevating platforms in the middle of the space, so that the audience can be at the optimum listening and viewing angles for immersive shows, providing with vertical and horizontal envelopment. Motorized hoists provide ADDITIONAL RIGGING POSSIBILITIES FOR PERFORMANCE EQUIPMENT such as projection screens, video projectors, loudspeakers, drapes, or sceneries. A permanent 3D sound system is installed along the front of all the balconies for Ambisonic or Wave Field Synthesis performances. Lifts can be raised in the center of the space to BRING THE AUDIENCE IN THE CENTER of the audio sound field for a FULLY 3D IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE with sound coming from below and above. The Hall is also dimensioned for immersive video, where projection screens can be lowered and hung on each side of the Hall, for AUGMENTED/ VIRTUAL/MIX REALITY PERFORMANCES and INSTALLATIONS.
MAIN HALL (H1)
The volume of the Hall is sized to achieve 2.3 seconds of reverberation with a full audience. The un-occluded tall surfaces of the outer box are used for the deployment of sound absorbing material to fine-tune acoustics to the musical program, (i.e. acoustical curtains, banners). The deployment of variable acoustics can be used to reduce loudness in the case of large orchestral forces, reduce reverberation for classical, baroque or chamber music (RT < 1.6s), damp acoustics for amplified music events (RT < 1.5s), or release the full extent of reverberation for organ recitals or large symphonic works (RT > 2.3s). The walls of the outer boxes can also be used as projection surfaces for video or lighting effects to create different moods and immersive effects, or plunge the audience into different imaginary worlds. The inner acoustical shell of the hall is specially sculpted with hard wood solid surfaces to create quick cue-ball early reflections that surround the audience and improve the impression of envelopment, clarity and intimacy. The lower side walls of the inner shell create large surfaces around the ground floor audience area like a shoe-box concert hall, which are also shaped to deflect sound towards the balconies. Sound diffusing and scattering shaping is applied to the surface of the outer shell to help create a diffuse sound field. The outer walls are also tilted outward toward the ceiling to create a sense of reverberation coming from above and participate to a sense of elevation during music performances. A large canopy is hung above the orchestra to provide ensemble support for the orchestra. It also encapsulates the stage lighting, rigging elements and a projection screen. Loudspeaker systems are stored in the ceiling above the orchestra canopy, and Bombay doors in the canopy allow for the sound system to be lowered above the stage for events requiring the use of sound amplification. Sound and light control rooms are combined and located at the rear of the ground floor seating. The video projection room is located at the rear of the 1st balcony and the follow spot room above the top balcony to avoid blending the eyes of performers. A lift inserted in the floor of the ground floor seating is used to create a sound cockpit position for amplified music events. When lowered, seats on wagons are rolled and stored under the floor and sound mixing equipment is rolled on the lift. 3 motorized lighting bridges hung from the ceiling provide rigging and power for theatrical lighting equipment. The stage of the Main Hall (H1) is designed to maximize the performance of the space, in order to respond to
the different needs of the Orchestra or the Audience seatings configuration. The stage is composed of wood motorized risers allowing for a great flexibility of orchestra set-ups, ranging from a totally flat stage to stepped risers connecting to the rear balcony. The first configuration (ORCHESTRA PIT) provides a free stage with a choir of 80 singers behind it and an orchestra of 80 musicians under it (1520 seats). In the LARGE ORCHESTRA + CHOIR configuration, the choir stands behind an orchestra of 120 musicians set on the stage, while the frontal part of it is taken by 3 rows of additional chairs (1580 seats). In the MEDIUM ORCHESTRA + CHOIR configuration, the choir stands again behind the orchestra of 80 musicians, while the entire frontal area is taken by 5 additional rows (1620 seats). In the last configuration (MEDIUM ORCHESTRA, NO CHOIR) the hall reaches the maximum capacity (1700 seats). Radio, TV broadcast, recording studios and equipment rooms are grouped together in proximity of the hall for synergetic operations.
SECONDARY HALL (H2)
The volume of the hall is set for the space to provide a reverberation time of 1.5 seconds in fully occupied conditions. This assumes that the ceiling and walls above the technical grid is covered with 50 mm of dense mineral fiberglass. The walls of the Hall are rotating horizontal triangular acoustic panels which can provide 3 different acoustical properties: sound reflection, diffusion and absorption. The natural acoustics of the Hall can therefore be fine-tuned for each event by manually rotating each panel. For example, panels can be rotated to reflecting ones along the lower side walls and diffusing ones higher up in the room for chamber music (RT < 1.5 seconds). All the panels can be changed to diffusing for electro-acoustic music or recordings (1.0 seconds < RT < 1.5 seconds). They can also all be changed to sound absorbing for fully amplified music events (RT < 1.0 seconds). Risers are designed to provide good performer visibility including dance. The bleacher sitting units use triple swivel casters so each unit can be rotated easily in the Hall or be stored in the stage undercroft storage area. The ceiling is a tension-wire grid with removeable sections, providing with a fully walkable surface where lighting equipment can be set-up anywhere to match the number of different stage/audience configurations. Sound and light control rooms are combined into a large single space at the back of the 1st balcony. The space also allows for a mobile light and sound console to be rolled anywhere in the hall.
The Complex combines a primary REINFORCED CONCRETE STRUCTURE, and a PUNCTUAL STEEL SYSTEM holding the WOOD-LAMELLAS ENVELOPE. Assuming a “normal“ consistence of the soil, the proposed foundations are grade beams. The underground levels have reinforced concrete perimetral walls, with a 0.70 metres-wide cavity, that would prevent humidity infiltrations, and would be also inspectable. The MAIN MASSIVE STRUCTURE consists in load-bearing walls (0.60 m wide) of REINFORCED CONCRETE, with external light wood cladding, that contains the main functions. The secondary PUNCTUAL STEEL STRUCTURE, resting on the main structure, is placed in a 7.50X7.50m (minimum) regular grid, connected through steel beams 500mm high protected with fire-fighting and anti-corrosion substances. The area of the LOBBY IS COINCEIVED AS PILLAR FREE SPACE, that can host different kind of functions, and where the visitors can enjoy a fully-immersive perception of the indoor area. The GREEN ROOFTOP covering this space, is anchored to the side reinforced concrete volumes, through a double system of steel beams (1000mm+1000mm). It is composed by a reinforced concrete slab, recycled insulation layer, attenuation layer growing layer of about 1m, and local bushes and vegetation. A transparent walkable disjunction between the opaque rooftop and the emerging sculptured volumes let the sunlight filter inside the Lobby area.
The PUNCTUAL STEEL STRUCTURE is holding the EXTERNAL TIMBER FACADE of the main volumes, besides lightweight HANGING WALKWAYS that works as distribution system. The MAIN HALL has a PECULIAR CONFIGURATION, due to the inner-outer shell solution provided. The main reinforced concrete structure composes the OUTER SHELL (0.60m wide), while the INNER SHELL consists in a 0.30m-wide walls of reinforced concrete and acoustical insulation. The inner BALCONIES placed at +1 and +2 levels, are supported by huge concrete pillars, with a light-colored timber cladding, sculpted to improve the acoustics performance of the Hall. It is assumed that structural verifications and details would be needed for a complete and exhaustive structural design.
MAIN SYSTEMS STRATEGY
In the very peculiar case of musical function spaces, ACOUSTICS ASPECTS SHOULD OVERTAKE ON ALL THE TECHNOLOGICAL SYSTEMS SOLUTIONS, in order to respond to very strigent regulations. The systems stategies aim to ensure the comfort of both the audience and musicians, containing the noise of the mechanical plans and optimizing the systems distribution. All the solutions provided should be ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE, while CONTAINING THE INTERVENTION AND MAINTEINANCE COSTS.
Air conditioning system
The typology and the dimensions of the complex, have suggested a WHOLE AIR SYSTEM SOLUTION, WITH ZONE SEPARATED TREATMENT UNITS. The M.E.P. are placed at -2 level, separated from the two Halls, in order to prevent operating machinery noise distrurbance. All the common areas will have separate systems, for an indipendent management. In the Main and Secondary Hall, the air conditioning system should ensure a control of the indoor temperature (18-20°C), humidity and air purity, while containing the operating noise. The main problems that may occour inside the Hall, can be: the STRATIFICATION OF THE AIR, depending on the Hall height, that will be avoided by ensuring the inflow of air from the bottom of the seats in the Parterre and Gallery, and the intake from the upper area of the walls. Or the NOISE PRODUCED BY THE OVERFLOW SPEED OF THE AIR, that will be avoided ensuring an air velocity through the grid kept below 1.4 m/s.
The RAINWATER WILL BE COLLECTED INTO SPECIAL TANKS set at the -2 level, and after special treatments, it WILL BE RE-USED for the irrigation and mainteinance of the indoor and outdoor green gardens, water features, sanitary sewer flushing, firefighting. All the inlet and overflow pipes of the system will be soundproofed to reduce the operation noise.
The rooftop of the main emerging volumes is covered by peculiar LAMELLAE INTEGRATED WITH AMORPHOUS SILICON SOLAR CELLS, highly flexible and lightweight, to contribute to the energy production of the complex. It would be possible to adopt a grid-connected PV system, linked to the utility grid, or a stand-alone system, that will be provided with integrated battery solution, to store the excess power, beyond consumption.
The main goal of the project was to use PASSIVE DESIGN STRATEGIES, MINIMIZING THE USE OF ACTIVE SYSTEMS, which will, in any case, use renewable energy sources. The new Concert Hall is characterized by a DOUBLE SKIN FACADE system, with burnt timber cladding, that will ensure a SHADOW AND TEMPERATURE CONTROL, DURING BOTH WINTER AND SUMMER SEASONS. Infact, during the cold months, the sunlight is going to heat the air kept between the double skin system, that will slowly propagate the collected heat in the indoor spaces. In the summer time, instead, thanks to specific openings placed at the top and bottom of the vertical system, it will be possible to let the air flows into the buffer space. Furthermore, the DARK COLOR of the facade will absorb more solar heating, helping to ensure a indoor thermal quality. The rooftop of the main volumes is covered with an INTEGRATED PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM. The Lobby area, is covered by a GREEN ROOFTOP, which thermal mass will help to not dissipating heat, ensuring the indoor comfort. It will be MOSTLY LEFT PERMEABLE, with green grass areas and small AUTOCHTHONOUS BUSHES AND VEGETATION, that will require less mainteinance, preserving the local flora and fauna. This level is conceived as the natural extension of the Tauras Hill itself, that will help to maintain the very natural image of the place. The landscape design provides green grass areas and open grid paved squares and relaxing zones, that will MINIMIZE THE IMPERVIOUS SURFACES, reducing the water runoff. The RAINWATER WILL BE COLLECTED AND RECYCLED for irrigation of the indoor and outdoor green areas, fire-fighting tanks and water features. The Lobby ambience is completely permeable, and thanks to the TRANSULCENT FACADES, the natural light can easly filer inside. Sided openings let the air to flow through, ensuring a TRANSVERSAL VENTILATION that will improve the indoor air quality. The choice to use of LOCAL AND NATURAL MATERIALS will reduce the CO2 consumption, both during the production and transportation phases. Lighting design and control are fundamental for the building’s energy savings. OCCUPANCY SENSORS would be needed, in particular in the office/working areas, to turn the lights off when the rooms are empty. PHOTOSENSORS, instead, will monitor the amount of daylight inside a particular space, dimmering the artificial lights.
The project external image is highly characterized by the use of BURNT WOOD LAMELLAS, using a technique called “SHOU SUGI BAN”, a centuries old Japanese technique of charring “Sugi” (cedar) planks. The result is a very UNIQUE APPEARANCE and DURABILITY, as well as a ECOLOGICAL SOLUTION. For the indoor spaces cladding, a LIGHT-COLORED TIMBER IS USED, that covers the volmes of the two Halls and the distributive core of the building 03. The dark-painted punctual steel structure and the GLASS RAILINGS will characterize the indoor spaces. The joints of the RESIN CEMENT FLOORS retrace the main volumes and axis, while the CEILINGS OF THE LOBBY area show a LIGHT-COLORED TIMBER CLADDING, AND SCULPTED SHAPE.
The proposal for the new National Concert Hall “TAUTOS NAMAI” seeks a Complex well integrated into the urban surrounding fabric, visually and physically connected to the natural park of the Tauras Hill, and accessible thanks to the new proposed pedestrian and cycle paths. The SCULPTED VOLUMES intimately embracing the central public heart, AIM TO INSPIRE A SENSE OF BELONGING AND UNION, among the Vilnius inhabitants, the visitors, the musicians and all the staff, transforming the CONCERT HALL EXPERIENCE not into once-a-year event, but a everyday cultural epicenter. This will promote the aim to CONSTITUTE A COMMUNITY, offering a shared experience rather than a private music consuption. The proposed design seekd to RENEW THE RITUALS OF MUSIC BY PROVIDING A TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCE THOUGH MUSIC, SOUND AND ARCHITECTURE.
With: Arch. Erika Braun, Eleonora Ragonici, Valentina Sanzari and Beatrice Pizzicaroli