Janáček philharmonic OstravaNovinkyWorld-renowned architect Steven Holl will visit Ostrava again to lay the foundation stone for the concert hall

World-renowned architect Steven Holl will visit Ostrava again to lay the foundation stone for the concert hall

06. 6. 24

Ostrava is once again welcoming the world-renowned architect Steven Holl, who returns to the prepared site of the reconstructed House of Culture of the City of Ostrava after almost three years. This time, he will take on a special task. Together with other personalities, he will lay the foundation stone for the construction of a concert hall. In addition to the ceremonial act, he has other activities planned. Interested parties can meet this world-famous architect at the international forum Meltingpot as part of Colours of Ostrava. Steven Holl will also discuss the current state of the construction with the working team that has been tackling this unique project for many years, as the architectural competition has been in preparation since 2017.




“The new concert hall in Ostrava will become an inspiring place for the public and visitors from abroad. It will bring high-quality contemporary music to Ostrava and enable the city to make a mark on the world music map. Its design as a ‘perfect acoustic instrument placed in its case,’ which emerged from working drawings, will now take its concrete form in real space and with real sound. This is an extremely exciting moment for Czech music and architecture,” said Steven Holl. Visitors to Colours of Ostrava can look forward to Steven Holl’s lecture on July 19, 2024, at 4:30 p.m., with a discussion on architecture planned in the UniverCity zone.

The ceremonial laying of the foundation stone for the concert hall is scheduled for July 19, 2024. As part of the program, the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, under the baton of future chief conductor Daniel Raiskin, will perform Bedřich Smetana’s composition “Má vlast.” The foundation stone of the building comes from the quarry in Mrákotín.



High-quality architecture is crucial for the development of Ostrava, and the presence of Steven Holl and his team brings a unique building to the city, much discussed by both supporters and opponents of the concert hall. Many compare the construction of the concert hall to the situation during the building of the New Town Hall when then-mayor Jan Prokeš faced sharp criticism from the public and media during the construction of the largest town hall complex in the country. In any case, the exceptional concert hall project will bring a reconstructed form of the city’s House of Culture, suitable musical facilities, and impact the field of architecture. Thanks to such significant personalities in architecture and the extensive work of the teams involved in these unique projects, Ostrava will also offer a new multifunctional complex unparalleled in the country. However, before the new concert hall welcomes its first visitors, we have many tasks ahead of us, with the main topic being not only the construction itself but also the financing of the project,” said Jan Dohnal, Mayor of the City.

The City Council at its last meeting discussed the terms of the contract with the executive agency of the European Commission, with the grant potentially reaching up to 21 million euros. “The non-repayable grant combined with a long-term investment loan from the European Investment Bank forms the main share of the financing. We could sign the grant agreement and the loan agreement as early as June this year. The loan amount could be up to two billion crowns. The city’s co-financing is secured from the Fund for the Construction of the New Concert Hall. We will also receive a grant of 300 million crowns from the Moravian-Silesian Region. We expect the registration of another grant with support of 600 million crowns from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. In March this year, we submitted another application to the Modernization Fund of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic for energy savings in the House of Culture of the City of Ostrava, where we could receive a grant of up to 88 million,” explained Lucie Baránková Vilamová.



The financing of the entire project is multi-sourced. “The multi-source financing model for this demanding construction is not entirely simple. For example, with the European Commission grant and the European Investment Bank loan, the disbursement of one is conditional on the other, and the amount of both can vary. We are also meticulously aligning the project with other funding providers, from the application process to the financing of individual items, including the purpose of the funds. We must avoid so-called double financing, which means financing one budget item from two sources. The city is very experienced, and this risk is reliably managed. Therefore, each grant in this model is unique. When we have valid decisions on the grants or grant agreements, we will of course publish more detailed financing information,” added Hana Tichánková, Deputy Mayor.

The newly constructed complex will offer a concert hall with a capacity of 1,300 seats, a theater hall with 490 seats, and a multifunctional chamber hall with a capacity of 515 seats. The educational center will have 200 seats, and the multifunctional lecture hall will accommodate 120 seats. The complex will include a recording studio, leisure activity spaces, cafes, restaurants, and lounges. The city of Ostrava first attempted to build a high-quality concert hall in the 1860s, and the last attempt was in 1969. The new design has been known since July 2019, when the results of the architectural competition were announced. The winning design by Steven Holl Architects from New York and Architecture Acts from Prague largely preserves the existing building.

“In early April, a contract was signed with the contractor for the second phase of the concert hall project and the reconstruction of the House of Culture of the City of Ostrava. The winner of the public tender was the Sdružení pro koncertní halu, whose partners are IMOS Brno a.s. and IPS Třinec a.s. The consortium offered the lowest price of 2.798 billion crowns. The first phase of the project, site preparation, began last year and is now being completed. It included essential works such as the relocation and connection of utilities, construction of water management structures, geothermal drilling, and more. The prepared site will be followed in the coming months by the excavation of the construction pit,” explained Břetislav Riger, Deputy Mayor. The expected completion date of the construction is now in 2027. “We also have quite a crucial task of coordinating transportation, as there are several projects in various stages of implementation in the affected area, from the construction of a new parking house to the construction of the so-called Black Cube scientific library,” added Břetislav Riger.



“In 2018, after thorough preparations, the city of Ostrava took a significant step by announcing an international architectural competition for the construction of a concert hall and the related reconstruction of the historically valuable House of Culture. The clear goal was to breathe new life into the area and the existing cultural house, creating an adequate cultural and social facility in Ostrava with world-class acoustic, technical, and architectural standards. These requirements were met by the project of the world-renowned architect Steven Holl, who was selected a year after the competition was announced. Now, in 2024, we are at the stage of starting the construction itself. A relatively short time has passed from the idea to the commencement of construction, which is evidence of the incredible energy that our city naturally possesses. I believe that the positive impact of this project, which is unprecedented in the Czech Republic, will be crucial for the development of the city of Ostrava. This will indelibly place Ostrava on the cultural map of Europe,” concluded Jan Žemla, director of the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava.

Taken from the press release of the Statutory City of Ostrava, June 6, 2024.