The Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall | ITSLIQUID

The Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall

Architecture | May 5, 2022 |

Belgrade Philarmonic 002
Image courtesy of AL_A

Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Status: Competition won 2021/2022

Following a year-long international competition led by the UNDP, London architecture studio AL_A has been selected to design the new Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall. The Concert Hall is a landmark project for the City of Belgrade and Serbia. It is the biggest cultural investment in the region for decades. Located next to the historic Palace of Serbia in New Belgrade, the project is an extraordinary commitment to building a brighter, more sustainable future for the city.

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Image courtesy of AL_A

With multiple performances, rehearsal, and creative spaces including a symphonic concert hall with 1,600 seats, the Hall will be the first of its kind in the Balkans: an internationally recognized platform for world-class musical performance contributing to the social, economic, and environmental development of Serbia. In 2021 the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched an international design competition on behalf of the Government of Serbia in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Culture and Information, City of Belgrade, and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, targeting the world’s most renowned architecture firms. 37 applications were received from 15 countries, with eight candidates invited to proceed to the next stage.

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Image courtesy of AL_A

An international jury comprising architects, concert hall, and competition experts, as well as representatives of the organizing bodies, assessed designs developed to a detailed brief and technical concepts drawn up by strategic arts and culture planning consultants Arup, and the Plan of Detailed Regulation of the City of Belgrade. Of the final six received and evaluated by the jury, AL_A was declared the winner. An overview of the shortlisted proposals is available on the UNDP website. Ana Brnabic, Prime Minister of Serbia, says: ‘The Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall is the largest cultural infrastructure project in Serbia, and the region, and will be one of the largest in Europe itself. I am proud that this decades-long dream, of our professional musicians, young talents, music lovers, and the people of Serbia, is finally coming true in such a beautiful shape. I believe that this Hall will be one of the greatest cultural legacies of this Government. Investing in culture and in education is crucial for setting the pillars of a successful and strong modern country. This is something we have begun with numerous similar cultural projects. This Concert Hall is most definitely going to become a new landmark of Belgrade and attract visitors and tourists to our country. Furthermore, with its quality programs, it will enrich our citizens’ cultural life. I strongly believe that it will become another regional hub for making contacts and knowledge exchange, with the flow of creativity, ideas, and experience of both domestic and foreign artists’.

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Image courtesy of AL_A

Darko Krstic, acting director of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, says: ‘Many years ago, with tireless and fearless enthusiasm, our former and dearly departed director Ivan Tasovac, embarked on a decades-long dream – to build a magnificent home for the Belgrade Philharmonic, the leading orchestra in the region, creating an internationally recognized center for music, a regional hub for culture and the arts, and a new symbol of Belgrade and Serbia. We are delighted with AL_A’s design, one that not only celebrates the uniqueness of our orchestra, but which provides an accessible, special, and attractive venue for social gatherings in the Serbian capital – a place that celebrates the lifestyle of Belgrade as a European metropolis and a new home that Belgrade Philharmonic deserves.’

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Image courtesy of AL_A

Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A, says: ‘You couldn’t dream of a better site than this to message Serbia’s vision for the future. The magnificent setting of Ušce Park, on the banks of the River Danube, sends a powerful message about transforming and rewilding our cities to make them greener, more beautiful spaces. The Concert Hall will be an expression of harmony between nature, architecture, and music, at a pivot point in Europe where East meets West. It will be a place where people from all places and cultures, of all ages and abilities, come together to delight in music from every genre.’

Belgrade Philarmonic 001
Image courtesy of AL_A

AL_A is the award-winning architecture studio founded by the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete. Completed projects include the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter in London and the Museum of Art, Architecture & Technology in Lisbon. AL_A leads an international team including landscape designers VDLA, engineers AFA Consult, and local architects Zabriskie. They join Arup who continues their role in acoustic and theatrical design.


Belgrade Philarmonic 007
Image courtesy of AL_A

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