Invitation to tender
Ostrava has moved a step closer to its new concert hall – with the construction permit now issued, the City is now seeking a contractor to build the hall
Today, Ostrava’s City Council approved the proposed tender for a building contractor in a major public procurement contract – the reconstruction of the City of Ostrava Cultural Centre and the construction of a brand-new concert hall as an extension to the existing building. The necessary construction permit has now been issued, and will soon become legally effective. The project documentation for the construction process has also been completed, so the selection of the building contractor is the next essential step to ensure that the continuity of the entire process is maintained, particularly with regard to securing external funding for the project. The architectural competition for a concert hall design was held in 2018, and since then the project has progressed so it will soon be possible to launch construction work; preparations are already underway at the site.
Efforts to build a fully-fledged concert hall in Ostrava have been underway for almost a century – but it is only now that the project is close to becoming a reality – in terms of both planning and financing. There are a number of logical reasons to announce the tender for the building contractor now, even before all the external funding contracts have been finalized and signed. Zuzana Bajgarová, Ostrava’s Deputy Mayor in charge of investments, explained: “The first reason is that we need to verify the feasibility of the project with regard to available sources of funding. The only way of determining the real cost of the construction work is for potential contractors to submit real bids. We also need to proceed on the basis that a tender of this magnitude may last 6 to 12 months, and because there are time limitations on the availability of some external funding, it would be irresponsible to create unnecessary delays in the proceedings. Finally, we will be able to eliminate the delay between the first phase (preparatory work at the site) and the second phase (the construction work itself); the first phase will be completed by the end of this year.”
Besides the tender, the City also approved the plans to submit an application for 600 million CZK of funding from the Czech Ministry of Culture (via the programme “Support for the reproduction of property of regional cultural institutions, churches and religious organizations”). This programme is targeted specifically at Ostrava, and it implements the memorandum on pre-funding for the concert hall signed in 2018 by the City and the national government.
Ostrava’s Mayor Tomáš Macura gave more details: “It is a highly efficient approach for us to finalize our external financing arrangements at the same time as opening the tender for a building contractor, because the main construction work can then be launched as soon as we sign the contracts for the remaining external funding. This funding will come from Ministry of Culture grants, as well as from Pillar III of the Just Transition Mechanism – a combination of a special-rate loan from the European Investment Bank and a grant from the European Commission. The final decision on these remaining funds should be known in June of this year, and the necessary contractual documentation for the funding will then be completed in September. Depending on the variant chosen, non-returnable external funds could make up over 40% of the total spending on the project. If it proves impossible to secure the necessary funding, that would be a legitimate reason for the City to cancel the construction tender – we’re not going to take any risks.”
Now that the project documentation for the construction process has been completed, the budget for the entire investment has also been updated accordingly. The total budget according to standard costings is 4.1 billion CZK, which is 28% (0.9 billion CZK) higher than the cost that was calculated as part of the previous stages of the project documentation, which was submitted for approval to the City Assembly a year ago, in April 2022. A reasonable increase in the budget was expected to occur during the planning phase, and the total cost should now be driven down by the tendering process. The volume of external funding available and the potential range of funding sources have both grown during the past year, ensuring that the project will not endanger the City’s budget management and its overall financial stability.
Of the total project budget of 4.1 bn CZK, design/planning and project management account for 0.3 bn CZK, the reconstruction of the historic cultural centre will cost 0.8 bn CZK, and the construction work for the new concert hall will cost 2.2 bn CZK. The remaining 0.8 bn CZK is made up of other costs, for example alterations to public spaces in the vicinity.
The public tender will be announced for building contractors to implement the second phase of construction/reconstruction work on the “City of Ostrava Concert Hall” project, comprising the reconstruction of the existing cultural centre and the construction of the new concert hall. The expected budget will be 3.5 bn CZK (excluding VAT), and the tender will be held as an open (public) procedure in accordance with Section 52 ff. of Act no. 134/2016 Sb. on public procurement. The tender has been devised to comply with the standards set out in the FIDIC Red Book. The documentation for the tender provides full details of the tendering process, gives information on the market consultation that has already been carried out, and sets out the terms and conditions for the evaluation of bids, necessary qualifications, technical conditions defining the subject of the tender, as well as commercial and contractual terms and conditions. Detailed information is given in the tender documentation, which will be published in the profile of the Contracting Authority on the same date as the notification of the commencement of the public procurement process via the official Public Procurement Bulletin.
The implementation of the tender will be financed from the City’s designated Concert Hall Fund. External sources of funding will also be used:
- A grant from the Moravian-Silesian Region
- A grant from the national government (via the Czech Ministry of Culture)
- A loan from the European Investment Bank as part of Pillar III of the Just Transition Mechanism
- A grant from the European Commission as part of Pillar III of the Just Transition Mechanism
- A grant from the National Environment Programme (Energy savings at the City of Ostrava Cultural Centre)
- A grant from the programme for the development of regional cultural and creative centres
- Donations from institutional and individual donors
The concert hall project is putting Ostrava on Europe’s cultural map
The first plans to build a concert hall in Ostrava date back 160 years. There have been six attempts to build a concert hall since then, none of them successful. A new concert hall project formed part of Ostrava’s 2010 bid for the title European City of Culture 2015. Now the project is close to becoming a reality – the plans are ready, and the next step will be to launch the construction work itself.
The current project is based on the results of an international architectural competition organized by the City of Ostrava, which was won by the renowned New York-based Steven Holl Architects studio in conjunction with the Czech studio Architecture Acts. The winning studios then produced the project documentation. The acoustic design for the new auditorium was the work of the world-famous Japanese company Nagana Acoustic, headed by Yasuhisu Toyota. The location for the new hall – at the site of the existing City of Ostrava Cultural Centre – was chosen in order to revitalize the existing building as well as driving down both investment costs and operating costs by creating a single cultural complex – including new facilities for the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra. The existing cultural centre was not adequate for the orchestra’s needs, and the historic building is also in need of a full renovation – but as a legally protected cultural monument it cannot be substantially altered. In 2010 the prestigious American magazine Architizer ranked the new concert hall among the world’s most eagerly awaited new architectural projects. The City is also taking a systematic and coordinated approach to other projects which will transform the public spaces in the vicinity of the concert hall. The new hall has not yet been built, but in many ways it has already become a symbol of Ostrava, helping to raise the city’s profile on the European cultural map as a confident, forward-looking cultural hub.
The multifunctional complex will welcome an estimated 500 000 people per year, offering a range of facilities:
- A large auditorium with world-class acoustics (capacity 1300 people)
- Facilities for the 100 musicians of the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra
- A multifunctional chamber auditorium (capacity 515)
- An education centre (capacity 200)
- A world-class recording studio
- A theatre auditorium (capacity 490)
- A multifunctional lecture hall (capacity 120)
- Restaurants, cafés, function rooms, leisure facilities …
2018-2019 – architectural competition
11/2019 – work launched on the architectural study
09/2020 – work launched on the project documentation
04/2023 – land use/construction permit issued (still to become legally effective), work launched on phase 1 of the project (preparatory work, earthworks)
04/2023 – tender announced for the building contractor
09/2023 – external funding expected to be finalized
Q4/2023-2026 – construction work expected to begin