London-based practice wins international competition to design Serbia’s largest cultural project

AL_A has won an internation competition to design the new Belgrade Philharmonic Concert Hall, the largest cultural project in Serbia.

The practice founded by Amanda Levete beat five other finalists including US practice Diller Scofidio + Renfro for the chance to draw up the 1,600-seat concert hall.

The new arts complex will include multiple performance, rehearsal and creative space and will be located besides the historic Palace of Serbia – which houses much of the central government – in the central business district of New Belgrade.

The United Nations Development Program launched an international design competition for the project last year on behalf of the Serbian government.

The competition, run in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Culture and Information, City of Belgrade and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, received 37 applications from 15 countries, with eight candidates invited to proceed to the next stage.

An international jury of architects, concert hall experts and representatives from organisers assessed six final proposals, which were developed to a technical brief drawn up by consultants Arup.

The other practices AL_A pipped were Slovenian company Bevk Perovic Arhitekti, Spanish firm Estudio Lamela, Dutch architect MVRDV and Snohetta Oslo.

AL_A will now lead a team including landscape designers VDLA, engineers AFA Consult and local architects Zabriskie. They will all join Arup, who will continue its role in acoustic and theatrical design.