Ostrava is attracting international attention. The city plans to build a new concert hall to a design by renowned New York architect Steven Holl in conjunction with the Prague-based Architecture Acts studio. The last fully-fledged concert hall built in the Czech Republic was the Rudolfinum in Prague, but that was at the end of the 19th century! The City of Ostrava has committed to complete the new concert hall in 2024.

The concert hall will take the form of a major new extension to the existing City of Ostrava Cultural Centre (28. října St.). The design has divided people in Ostrava and throughout the region, provoking lively debate among experts and the general public – some people love it, others are less sure. But how will the new concert hall affect tourism in Ostrava?

The hall will offer outstanding acoustics and a capacity of 1200–1400 seats. The shape of the building resembles a violin case, and it will link up to the existing cultural centre at two “points of contact”, giving the impression of being a naturally flowing extension of the current building. The auditorium will occupy space on the side of the complex facing onto the park behind the cultural centre. The hall’s acoustics will ensure that audiences enjoy an exceptional experience. The entrance to the hall will be from the main road (28. října St.), and its striking form and volume will command the attention of passers-by. The surrounding area will also be the site of two other new buildings – the Black Cube (the new home of the Moravian-Silesian Research Library) and a new parking garage whose design was selected via a recent architectural competition.

What positive effects will the new concert hall have on Ostrava as a whole?

  • an exceptional experience for classical music-lovers
  • an opportunity to offer concerts to conference participants, raising conference/congress-type events to the next level
  • a state-of-the-art new cultural space as well as a full reconstruction of the existing cultural centre, which the City of Ostrava will offer for hire
  • high-quality acoustics will attract leading orchestras from all over the world
  • the new hall will raise Ostrava’s profile as a cultural hub
  • the hall has the potential to become an iconic structure like the Sydney Opera House
  • a strong stimulus for the development of culture and education in Ostrava

And last but not least, as the legendary Czech actor Jan Werich said: “To live a happy and satisfied life, people need not only physical but also cultural comfort. Culture and civilization must go hand in hand.” Whether we agree with that idea or not, there’s no doubt that the new concert hall will launch a hugely exciting new phase in Ostrava’s development!

Where are Europe’s top concert halls?

Philharmonie de Paris, France

Grosser Musikvereinssaal, Vienna, Austria

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, Germany

Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK

Berlin Philharmonie, Germany

The Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland

Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

DR Koncerthuset, Copenhagen, Denmark