M.K. Ciurlionis Concert Hall, Kaunas

Our entry to this open, international competition proposed an articulated cluster of programmatic masses with the concert hall cantilevered over the river’s edge. Sited on a beautiful river-side site in the Lithuanian capital Kaunas, our proposal was a typological exploration of creating multiple promenades around, over and through the building to promote the concert hall as a public, rather than a private ‘paid’ entry piece of public infrastructure.

The public space proposed is a series of spaces interconnected by a multi-level promenade: one at low level running under the cantilevered concert hall and along the river side, while the other moves up and over at the first-floor level of the centre itself. This created the opportunity to promote the public interface with the otherwise private functions of the concert hall interior, further elevating the public from private institution to public, cultural infrastructure.

The planning of the centre is expressed in a series of clustered envelopes around a central piazza-like foyer space. Vertical circulation throughout the centre is focused on this atrium, creating a range of people-watching opportunities with vertical and horizontal paths moving through, around and up the periphery of the space. Creating a series of interior facades, the foyer became a possibility to intensify the opportunity for interaction between concert goers and the general public, in connection with other public functions of the centre like the conference hall.

The concert hall itself represented by the largest mass in the composition and cantilevered over the river’s edge proposed a unique interface with the Nemunas River through opening up the back-of-house stage via a river-window. Patrons attending concerts would be reminded of the ever present river and its importance in the city and also open possible interactions with the river for concerts themselves.

Our entry was shipped to Lithuania, (6 x A1 design boards) physically and all the way from Sydney, over a week before the deadline. Despite following all postage instructions and clearly identifying the goods as without commercial value and architectural drawings with no resale value, Lithuanian customs held onto the submission for over 2 weeks.

We missed the submission deadline and the design boards were returned to us unopened.