The project creates new interiors in entrance areas of the Czech Philharmonic and the Dvořák’s hall in the great Rudolfinum building in a Neo-Renaissance style located in the Old Town of Prague. The collaboration started with our winning proposal in an invited competition organized by CZECHDESIGN and the Czech Philharmonics as the client in 2018. The general aim was to bring an extended use to the entrance areas and open them up to the public more than during the concerts. The brief asked to include a new souvenir shop, a listening lounge and an exhibition about the history of the building.
We approached the task with respect to the original historical architecture and aimed to design the new use in a compact and contemporary way, but unintrusive and in relation to the existing space. For this we chose to use materials already present in the building, mirroring effect of a partly polished brass and simple shaping derived from the floorplan of the spaces and relating to existing marble floors.
The project consists of three parts – two side lounges, including the Rudolfinum shop and a listening lounge dedicated to the Chief Conductor Jiří Bělohlávek, and an exhibition installation in the main foyer. The exhibition is conceived as two free-standing vertical objects with brass surface that reflect their surroundings and thus create a new spatial experience. Their longer sides incorporate a reflective glass panel where texts and images appear in layers as if coming from inside. The dimmable back LED-lighting supports the effect and emphasizes the exhibition during night hours and events. The foyer is complemented by a set of wooden bench with a brass plinth.
The souvenir shop in the lounge at the right edge of the foyer is centred by an octagonal display table with brass surface that reflects the floor pattern. In the surrounding niches there are wooden display walls with storage units that offer variable set-ups as well as the table. The dark wooden veneer creates a unifying background for the diverse products.
A similar radial solution is used in the listening lounge at the opposite end of the foyer. Visitors are invited to sit down and discover the audio library of the philharmonics via a set of a tablet and headphones integrated in three velvet sofas in wall niches. The fourth niche has a wooden bench with a bookshelf and two adjustable lamps.
The material selection and shaping of all the custom-made furniture was carefully conceived in order to make it fit in and not disturb the historical space.