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Tautos Namai national concert hall
International competition entry


Implant team participated in the international House of Nation concert hall competition, organised by Vilnius municipality. The new national concert hall site is on Tauras Hill, where current House of Nation building sits. We teamed up with specialists in various fields to create a unique and considered response to the competition brief, that would offer the city a new cultural hub and a place to celebrate music.


Team:

Architect: Implant Architecture & Design

Artist: Nitin Lachhani

Artist: Monika Lipsic

Researcher, curator: Yates Norton

Acoustics: Simon Longo at NMS Acoustics

Visuals: Laurynas Liberis



The original building on Tauras Hill was premised on the idea of a ‘national house’, we added a nuance to the idea of nationhood and created a space whose identity is expansive, rooted in history while looking forward to dynamic cultural exchange. The architecture of this public space prioritises shifting experiences rather than establishing a monolithic identity or concept.

A concert hall is just such a place where different musical traditions, histories and innovations combine. It is also the site where music is most powerfully felt and heard as a live experience. Architecture does not merely contain music, since architecture’s core characteristics of space and materiality are the very conditions through which the sounds of music can be heard. And without acoustics and the touch of materials, architecture cannot be fully experienced. In this design, sound and architecture constitute each other.

It is for this reason that in developing this design we have considered the ways in which sound can itself become the means through which architecture and space are created. We have frozen music, to paraphrase Goethe’s famous conception of architecture, not to deaden it but to sustain it, while providing the spatial conditions for more music and more sounds to be felt. Music will bring this concert hall to life, and so music has become the generative principle of the design.


We have teamed up with Nitin Lachhani whose work transforms transient and ephemeral phenomena into specific material expressions. To create the design we worked with the artist in choosing a fragment of music that was processed as a three-dimensional map of its soundwaves. From this, we took a further fragment to form the structural base of the building. The music that generated the design is by one of Lithuania’s most acclaimed composers, Bronius Kutavičius, whose work transforms myths and the pre-histories and histories of nations into complex and immersive compositions. His musical oeuvre is therefore an apposite source from which to develop the architectural design for this project. This is particularly the case in his most famed work, from which we have taken this fragment, the oratorio, Last Pagan Rites.






The concert hall is designed in such a way that it emphasises how the experience of the building shifts and changes from different perspectives and spaces. Seen from the bottom of the hill, the concert hall will appear to levitate as a light cloud; but once inside and beneath the undulating shapes of the frozen sound waves, the visitor will sense the weight of the building and, in turn, be able to think of sound as something that is both intangible and substantially felt. To further complement this experience, the soundwave ceiling will reach down at various points to the floor, providing not only structural support, but also enabling the visitor to touch the waves themselves. This physical experience of sound will be additionally enhanced by the materials used - cast concrete for the ceiling, rough-hewn granite for the floor - each of which will reflect sound in different ways to create an acoustically complex space. To further highlight our approach to music as a synthesis of the aural, the visual and the tactile, the shape of the floor tiles that circle out from the touch-points of the ceiling will visually underscore sound as something that is generated by points of touch.


The experience of entering this building, then, is one of various modulations of touch, hearing and sight, and architecture and visitor act together in exchange: the movements and sounds of the visitors inflecting and in turn inflected by the volumes and materials of the architecture. Exchange thus lies at the heart of the design and the experience of the concert hall. As the architecture is created from the sound waves of music, so through its shapes, materials and spaces, the architecture itself will become not only expressive of but also generative of sound.



© 2019 IMPLANT Architecture & Design