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Residents select new theatre in the Netherlands

by on Jul 22, 2015 in Architecture
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Inhabitants of Den Bosch, a city in the Netherlands, have decided on the upcoming design for the new Theatre on the Parade 

Choosing between two finalists, the citizens of Den Bosch have decided on a design by Ben van Berkel/UNStudio, an architectural firm with offices in Amsterdam, Shanghai and Hong Kong. The new theatre is to be located in the heart of the city, adjacent to a large and lively public square and near to St. John’s Cathedral. The design had to sit well within the urban fabric of the surrounding area, and as such features shapes that allude to geological forms with the composition of the volumes thwarting expectations of order. These offset, yet interrelated structures sit dynamically in the landscape, and give a nod to the theatrical shows that will take place within the venue.

This model shows how the theatre will sit within the surrounding landscape (©Marc Bolsius, courtesy of the Den Bosch City Council)

The location of the theatre called for a highly contextual approach (©Marc Bolsius, courtesy of the Den Bosch City Council)

The two auditoria are enclosed in natural stone while the facades of the public spaces are constructed from glass, allowing sweeping views of the public square that lies opposite. The main stairway includes glass balustrades forming the heart of the vertical foyer which extends over four levels. This vertical foyer forms a column-free central space, allowing the area to be utilised for a myriad of events, as Ben van Berkel notes, "The various levels of the vertical foyer can be utilised simultaneously for a variety of commercial functions. This enables flexible programming for public and privates events, shows and conferences. Such additional programming adds liveliness and versatility to the theatre building and extends its public function.”

The vertical foyer is 19 metres in height

The vertical foyer is 19 metres in height

Seating 950, the main auditorium has walls that are clad with wooden lamellas serving to improve acoustics, while the smaller auditorium features a flexible stage and retractable seating to allow for a range of performances. All areas have been carefully designed to ensure that multiple events can occur simultaneously without noise interference. Logistics for the theatre are carried out underground, with even changing rooms and service entries being located in the cellar. Construction is set to begin in 2017 with the final theatre to be up and running in 2020.

The floor in the main auditorium is slightly recessed below ground level to aid with acoustics

The floor in the main auditorium is slightly recessed below ground level to aid with acoustics

 

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