NATIONS HOUSE STORY
The site location and the hill itself tell an important story and have a strong link to Lithuanian history and culture. It is important that the Nations House truly reflects the countries values and becomes a symbol for people of Lithuania and of an idea that was born more than a century ago. We believe it is important to envision the site as something that embraces people’s everyday life, and creates a well-functioning urban assembly with the other cultural and public spaces in the area around Tauras Hill.
We believe it is important that everybody in the country and in Vilnius can relate to the Nations House and wants to experience Tauras Hill landscape: It is inviting, accessible and welcoming for all Lithuanians and interested visitors.
Lithuania is a small country. The biggest resource is its people: their knowledge, skillfulness and ambition are valued around the world. Having that in mind, Vilnius lacks public spaces and public buildings that provide young and old with inspirational environments to create, invent and make ideas come true. The recently completed national library provides people with such a multi-functional environment to gather and learn from one another. The success of this space shows that those environments are highly sought after and appreciated by the public.
It is important that Tauras Hill together with the Nations House provide flexible and open multipurpose functions. These functions activate the hill and make it a new vibrant place in Vilnius.
Furthermore, the hill is welcoming and becomes accessible for everybody without excluding disabled or older people. This means that the transport scheme, landscape and building design are crucial for the positive experience of the hill.
The main entrance to the public building is found on the ground floor between the halls where it is sheltered by the upper floor. When entering one stands in the lobby and is greeted by a friendly face at the reception desk. Here one can ask for information or buy tickets. Like the reception, other functions are incorporated into the shell of the halls and face the open space of the public building. On the ground floor different cloakrooms and toilets as well as a bar in the north-east part can be used. Furthermore, one finds the entrances to the big hall on this level. The whole ground floor is used as foyer/lobby for all event spaces.
To the left of the reception a big public staircase leads to the upper floor where the main public functions are placed. Different library facilities in the south-east, an exhibition and commercial space in the south-centre as well as different kinds of working spaces, meetings rooms, toilets and a spacious restaurant in the north east offer a wide range of services.
Key parameters of the National Concert Hall
Total area of the building 17 225 m²
Footprint of the building 7 260 m²
The maximum building height 25 m
No. of the Grand hall seats 1650
Grand hall area 2 320m²
No. of the Small hall seats 525
Small hall area 745 m²
In order to add to the greenery of the park we decided to put greenery on top of the building roofs. The roof of the service building is used as an extension of the evangelical church park, while the roof of the public building is working as an observatory and a green gathering place, where people can meet, play and experience the Vilnius skyline in 360-degree angle.
The public building makes up the open space which surrounds the small and big hall and offers space for all the public functions. The volume encloses the two halls on the elevated upper floor and the big hall on the ground floor. The masses envelop is made out of a glazed curtain wall where vertical lamellas are added on the outside. They are used as shading device and can be adjusted according to the needs. The vertical rhythm of the lamellas is in balance with the strong horizontal emphasis of the volume and together they reach a unity which adds to the character of the Nations House.
The whole ground floor is used as foyer/lobby for all event spaces.
To the left of the reception a big public staircase leads to the upper floor where the main public functions are placed. Different library facilities in the south-east, an exhibition and commercial space in the south-centre as well as different kinds of working spaces, meetings rooms, toilets and a spacious restaurant in the north east offer a wide range of services. From this upper floor one has an unobstructed view towards the Vilnius skyline in the north which certainly adds to the dinner experience.
The hall is held in a dark tone in order not to distract from the happenings on the stage. Burnt wood on the walls and dark acoustic panels on the ceiling give the main impression. A slightly brighter wooden flooring, a little brighter stage environment and seating upholstering in different shades of grey contrast slightly to the walls. A special feature is the skylight which is set above the stage. When not closed it brings in natural light which bounces back into the hall from the mirroring upper side of the reflector. Besides adjusting the sound environment the reflector has a distinguished disk shape and works as a sculpture in itself.
The roof of the public building is accessed through a public staircase which starts from the service building roof and is facing south. Integrated concrete seating elements offer a nice and sunny place to enjoy an elevated view towards the south. The integrated water feature adds to the experience. The U-shape wooden frame of the staircase protects the seating area from wind coming from north, east and west directions.