Modest landmark that does not compete with the hill cautiously compliments it


#vilnius, #concerthall, #tautosnamai, #architecture, #music, #lithuania, #publicspace



Architecture, being a bridge between art and technology, is the lodestar for the society. The National Concert Hall gains more importance once again with its function, connection, and integration to the city layout of Vilnius. Located on the top of the Tauras Hill, the building becomes a landmark for both city center and old town. Furthermore it becomes a part of a multifunctional open space. This is where the diversity of the architectural project begins...

The context of the National Concert Hall involves to contradictory situations: The inevitable necessity of the concert hall building to be an iconic landmark, being on a hill visible from all over the city and the fact that the Tauras Hill on which it stands is not just an ordinary hill, but a historically important land preserved to its slightest slope.

The aim is to design a sober, modest landmark that will not compete with the hill. This sobriety of the designed volume cautiously compliments the hill. Carefully integrated into the existing environment, the concert hall is characterized by a distinctive typology which gives this area an enhanced contemporary public character.


Vilnius City Municipality


Vilnius, Lithuania


16500 sqm


Cultural Center


International Competition



  • Cihan ŞEHLA

  • Arda YAVUZ

  • Sezin BELDAĞ

  • Zeynep AKTAŞ


The main aim is to create a concert center that integrates with the city and also dominates it spatially and perceptually. 

The competition site is characterized by historical urban fabric, natural environment and contemporary urban development. The concert center serves as an intermediary among all these elements.

Protecting the existing traces, observing the public memory of the project area and the user’s usage habits are adopted as an urban design principle. Currently there are different connections to the building via foot, bicycle and vehicles. 

The strong presence indicated by reference landscape elements, reinforces the identity of the region as a public space.


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The objective of the National Concert Hall in Vilnius Architectural Competition is to create a building full of sound, which can unite and educate people, being a world-famous place where European culture is created.  To give a building such a great responsibility that will support the city’s vision, requires the analysis of general urban development and spatial-strategic planning concepts. 

Concert Halls have the power to be the catalys of urban change. On this scale, architecture can contribute to an urban identitiy, bring the urban fabric together and even trigger social transformation. The proposed building is based on a design approach that supports the new plan decisions that are being worked in accordance with the current regional plan decisions of the city. In this respect, the building is intended to assume the role of strategic object mentioned in regional plan decisions. In this manner, it is aimed to revive this part of this city and to compete with other European cities with a specialized identity.

An Arc that highly responds to the visitors’ reflex of ‘being on top of the hill’


The prismatic masses rising in accordance to the building program, come to life iconically on top of the hill while the arc shaped platform of stairs complete the hill visually. This highly responds to the visitors’ reflex of ‘being on the top of the hill’ to watch the view of the city. The arc does not only complete the hill visually, but also acts as an alternative promenade through which the visitors reach the building. The tight integration of the building’s public functions with the surrounding hill allows the active usage of the rooftop terrace-bar, the arc bridge and the restaurant. 

The translucent facade of the concert hall alows the interior space to be clearly viewed and perceived from the outside. In contrast to this, the view of the Tauras Hill from the interior of the building gives us a clue of the building’s context. The translucent mesh facade creates a unique lighting atmosphere in the upper floors, where visitors’ walk through the facade and enter the closed Main Hall. During day time, the working areas of the building glow in the dark and the foyer is lit with natural daylight whereas during concert hours, the building becomes an inviting local signage which informs the city of a happening event.   

“I call architecture frozen music”
J. W. von Goethe


The main hall has a ‘Shoebox’ geometry. In terms of interior architecture, all of the surface coverings are determined as wooden surfaces. Diffuser wooden panels with sound distributor and sound reflector are used on the side walls of the hall. In this way, it is aimed to distribute the sound waves at different frequencies in the room and to have a homogeneous distribution at the points where the sound energy reaches the audience. Also the use of diffuser panels will ensure the prevention of flutter echoes. With the use of micro perforated wooden panels on the suspended ceilings under the balcony, it is aimed to prevent harmful reflections and to keep the reverberation times in the room at optimum levels.


Articulation of the City Skyline