Testimonials

Where are we being talked about? See where they know already that a new architectural landmark is being built in Ostrava.

With the construction of a new concert hall of these parameters, not only the Janáček Philharmonic, but the whole city is automatically taken to a completely different level, by its inhabitants and also by the entire cultural world. With Steven Holl's design, the city does not "just" get a concert hall. It thus acquires an iconic building designed by a world-class architect, which of course makes Ostrava one of the major metropolises where culture is one of the priorities. The design of the concept of the new concert hall connected with the reconstruction of the House of Culture of the City of Ostrava immediately attracted attention of a number of foreign media. A description and model of the transformation of the historic building by architect Jaroslav Fragner from the 1960s was even published in one of the world's most prestigious magazines on architecture and construction Urban Environment Design.

In the spring of 2020, the unique Ostrava design by architects from the studios Steven Holl Architects from New York and Architecture Acts from Prague was included among the most interesting projects being prepared in the Czech Republic. Another example from Ostrava is the construction of the Cluster of Art and Design of the University of Ostrava. Ostrava thus has a chance to make up for the deficit from previous years and catch up with other cities or even become a national leader in the field of architecture.

The prestigious architectural magazine Architizer ranked the Ostrava concert hall among the ten best upcoming projects. "The building was designed as the perfect acoustic instrument in its case," comments Eric Baldwin of Architizer. It thus encounters the appearance of a building, which is supposed to resemble the case of a musical instrument. According to the magazine, the ranking includes future urban landmarks and selects the modern architecture of the most famous authors. In the "Top 10" there was also a commercial and residential center in London or a skyscraper in France.

David Mareček Managing Director of Czech Philharmonic

“A quality concert hall is an injection of life for the city. It's far from just a matter of top music, but it attracts a huge number of tourists. We can see that today in Hamburg, where there is a new hall, in Paris, in Iceland, in nearby Katowice. They go to the new halls not only because of the quality music, but also because it is an important attraction of the city."

Petr Pánek PANT Centre

"I consider the concert hall an important piece of the mosaic of city life. That is not only the culture itself but also the public space, the architecture, the overall atmosphere, the possibilities and attractiveness. It is important for Ostrava residents and visitors alike, for young people to decide whether to stay here and work or move elsewhere. On a weighing pan when considering whether to choose Ostrava to live in or not, this is one of high calibre to settle here. I see the concert hall as one of the great opportunities and an important step on the way to a quality and colourful life in Ostrava, and as another proof to say that OSTRAVA IS DOING GREAT!!! ”

Semyon Bychkov Chief Conductor, Czech Philharmonic

"I´ve seen the beautiful design of the new concert hall in Ostrava and I would like to support this project. Its implementation will change the cultural life of the city, immensely improve the quality of life of citizens and the overall economic growth. It's something that happens every time a new concert hall is built. "

Tomáš Koudela co-founder of the Votobia publishing house

“I'm really looking forward to the new hall! It is vital to make a meaningful investments. It is not about concrete and iron, but we are building mental assets. Coal has run out, we have plundered nature and we need to invest in this region, which has been neglected for many years. The events in the region affect millions of people in the area. It will pay off for the state and the city. It'll mainly come back to the people here. It is necessary to change the stereotypes of black Ostrava. Business needs class symbols and the building carries a specific message. The city and we in it can prove that we mean it. People from outside of the city consume it too. We have to invest in culture, which is the biggest business for Ostrava. "

Miroslav Karas Director of Czech TV studio Ostrava

“Ostrava is literally bravely fighting for the highest places on the country's cultural map. And it's doing great! The times have come when the perception of the city, not only at home but also abroad, (not every city can succeed in such a thing!) has moved to a higher level. The new concert hall will provide Ostrava with a hallmark of a metropolis. It will be new, necessary and beautiful. The design is perfect, splendid and magnificent. It will become an icon and another landmark of the city. Ostrava deserves it. It will not only be a sanctuary for those who are looking for tones of greats, but also a magnet for visitors. Just keep going - Ostrava must have a dignified space for the presentation of art."

Ilona Rozehnalová owner of Antiquariát and Club Fiducia

"It seems unbelievable but Ostrava has been striving for a concert hall since the end of the 19th century. Although we were very near several times, the idea never go to the point of becoming a reality, and so the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra has been housed in the temporary conditions of the House of Culture of the City of Ostrava since its establishment in 1954. It is no different with the Ostrava Research Library, which has also been waiting for a dignified seat since the 1950s. I think that if Ostrava wants to retain or attract educated people and students, it needs to build these two key cultural buildings - I have no doubt that such an investment will return to the city multiple times, especially when both buildings were selected in an architectural competition and the winning designs promise the extraordinary architecture that Ostrava desperately needs. The winning design of the concert hall by architect Steven Holl approaches the original building of the cultural house humbly, but at the same time bringing bold ideas that are not self-serving. I consider it to be the architecture of the 21st century, such buildings are noticeably lacking in Ostrava, and I would very much like us to see this concert hall as soon as possible.”

Eva Jiřičná architect

"It's an amazing and hugely bold design, I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I'm proud that Ostrava was able to choose this architect in the competition. This has all the prerequisites for Ostrava to become an exceptional city, and I think that if Ostrava has a hall for 1,300 people, it will uplift the culture of the city. It's an amazing achievment and I keep my fingers crossed."

Tomáš Macura The mayor of Ostrava city

"By building a new concert hall, Ostrava will strengthen its position as a cultural centre and join the ranks of important European cities in which new concert halls already stand. Those with top architecture and acoustics are always an impulse not only for the development of culture and education in the place, but also a magnet for tourists. The last truly full-fledged concert hall is the Prague Rudolfinum, built at the end of the 19th century. I believe that our hall will also attract with its architecture, sound and program for at least the same length of time," the mayor of Ostrava Tomáš Macura is convinced.

Ivo Kahánek pianist

"Ostrava has decided to build a new top concert hall of international parameters. However, there are voices saying that in times of crisis, the money should be spent on repairing roads or sidewalks, as a concert hall is an unnecessary thing. Let's look at another "unnecessary" thing for inspiration - the Lower Vítkovice area. Here also, a pragmatic solution was considered, i.e. the demolition and profit of a huge plot of land near the centre with many possibilities of use. In the end, however, the creative path of revitalization and investment prevailed. The result? Vítkovice is the fourth most visited monument in the Czech Republic (the first one outside Prague), it is on the list of European cultural heritage and above all: it has become a symbol of Ostrava. I know that building a concert hall at this time takes a lot of courage, which Prague, for example, still hasn´t had. Nevertheless, I would very much like Ostrava to have it and write another unforgettable chapter in the history of this unique city. I am convinced that the spiritual and commercial effect of the exceptional building will generously pay it back to all the locals!"

Jaromír Nohavica Czech folk singer, librettist and composer

"I'm really looking forward to the new concert hall in Ostrava. The great Ostrava music audience as well as the musicians deserve such a place at last. Leoš Janáček is murmuring happily in heaven above."

Jan Žemla Managing Director of Janáček Philharmonic

"A concert hall with modern and perfect acoustics allows the orchestra to self-reflect immensely, which then leads to improvement. Let me mention one practical experience - recently Janacek Philharmonic played a concert in the famous Elbfilharmonie, probably the most discussed hall of recent times. I will not talk about its architectural qualities, I will only mention the artistic ones. I had the opportunity to sit next to the author of that acoustic model, Mr Yasuhisi Toyota, and I named his work as dangerously perfect. Perfect in what we heard, dangerous (in a good way) in that we could hear everything! And that should be, I believe, our goal. With the construction and existence of the new concert hall of these parameters, it is not only the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra automatically but the whole city gets to a completely different level not only for its inhabitants, but for the entire cultural world. And I wish all of us the very best of luck with completing this project successfully and making Ostrava a real cultural metropolis. With Steven Holl's design, the city does not "just" get a concert hall. It thus acquires an iconic building of a world architect, which automatically places Ostrava among important cities for which culture is one of the top priorities. I am sure that the resulting social effect of this building will be much more significant than we can imagine at the moment."

Kateřina Kněžíková opera singer

"I am a big fan of this project and I think that Ostrava and its Janacek Philharmonic more than deserve it. I just hope that great emphasis will be placed on acoustics, so that the building is really the space that is being presented. The Philharmonic Orchestra already has a hall that is not really acoustically ideal. It's not about what the hall looks like from the outside, but how it works from the inside. And for me, as an artist, of course, the most important thing is the space where I do my work. We have a lot of beautiful historic buildings, but they are not good to sing in. Then there are the new buildings, which, for example, do not fulfill an aesthetic idea, but the feeling of performing and listening is comfortable. I have sung in similar spaces many times. However, it is difficult to compare opera stages with concert stages. Each has a different repertoire and the work with the acoustics of the room varies. If Janacek Philharmonic invites me or my husband to collaborate in the new concert hall, I see no reason not to accept this offer and enjoy the concert in the new hall. I keep my fingers crossed."

Petr Popelka conductor

"I lived in Dresden, where a similar reconstruction of the old building took place. A beautiful building was created, which is now a symbol of the city. I often stay in Hamburg and the same thing happened there. I wish to Ostrava that the hall becomes a new impulse for living in this city - not only for culturally attuned people, but for everyone. It's as if you've learned to speak a new language. "

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