A unique concert house will be built on the Independence Square at the heart of the City Turku, by the river Aura. The concert house will feature world-class acoustics and innovative design. The construction will be finished by the end of 2025.

The winner of the invitation to tender for the concert house was Harmonia, the group with the best scores in the competitive tendering process. The group consists of Hartela Länsi-Suomi Oy, PES-Arkkitehdit Oy, and WSP Finland Oy as well as Laidun-design Oy as a subcontractor. Turku City Council made the decision on Monday 18 October. Project planning concerning the concert hall will now be launched.

“The new concert house is a common project of the entire city, the implementation of which supports the objectives of the development of the city. It is wonderful that the Council has now made a decision on the acquisition of an alliance partner, and the entire project is proceeding on schedule. As recorded in the mayor's programme, the decision makes it possible to build the concert house so that Turku Philharmonical Orchestra can move directly into the new premises without any temporary facilities,” says Minna Arve, Mayor of Turku.

“The new concert house is a natural part of the developing the river Aura cultural banks.”

The design solution respects the cultural historical value of the City Theatre and the Office Building. The concert house will form a natural entity with the City Theatre, where a new urban square is created between the buildings, where the main entrance to the concert house is also located. The building's outdoor architecture looks for inspiration in the surrounding buildings but is softer with its curved shapes.

“The public spaces, lobbies and foyers face the river, creating an active and open look for the entire building and also communicating about the activities to the outside world.  The plan respects its dignified environment in a delightful way, but dates to also make the nuances of our time part of the future city image,” praises Timo Hintsanen, Director of Urban Planning.

“The plan also clearly shows that the selected location is not only natural in terms of urban image but also of sufficient size. Additionally, it offers very diverse operational synergies with the City Theatre. Together, they will form an extraordinary cultural entity by Northern European standards.”

World-class acoustics

The building will have two halls, a 1,300-seat main hall serving as a concert hall, and a 300-seat multifunctional hall.

The main hall will be designed on the terms of playing orchestral music, and an acoustician will be selected at a later stage to be responsible for the world-class acoustics. In addition to playing orchestral music, the main hall will also be suitable for other purposes, such as the presentation of electronically reinforced music, conference and congress use, and small-scale presentations. The orchestra pit makes it possible to play opera among other things.

The shape of the hall is an applied shoe box design. It forms the heart of the house, and the daylight that streams into the hall gives the house a clear character also in the evening. Indoor shapes are curved and dynamic. Wooden surfaces create warmth in the space.

The stage is designed to accommodate 100 performers and some of parts of the stage can be lowered to turn them into an orchestra pit.  

Nikke Isomöttönen, Chief Curator of the Philharmonic Orchestra, says that he is very enthusiastic about the winning proposal:
“The aim has been to create an open and inviting concert house that is full of versatile activities that reach different audiences and that may become a new type of public city space. The winning proposal meets these objectives excellently.”

“The space solutions of the winning proposal enable a world-class and memorable customer experience, whether it is an orchestral concert, an entertainment concert, a school group visit, or a restaurant visit.”

“The connecting part with the City Theatre will merge the two buildings into one unit that can serve in a unique way in events or congress use and promote the development of customer service and the shared use of personnel. One excellent feature is that the concert hall and theatre will be connected via natural interior connections, both in terms of customers and of internal personnel, service and technology functions.”