architectural project new playhouse | copenhagen _denmark

the theatre machine

theatre faces more and more competition from cinema, video, TV and the new media. it is hard to predict in which way the theatre will maintain its hold and which new forms of expression it will find to do so. therefore our design for a 'production place theatre' refers primarily to the functional and artistic requirements of a future orientated playhouse. this primarily, apart from some stable parameters, is the incessant change of the use of a theatre building in the beginning of this century. In this respect the design puts a special attention on a maximum of flexibility.

the new building forms an interface between city and harbour. this is mainly achieved by three factors:
• the positioning of the theatre on an peninsular.
• through the opening up by means of bridges and footbridges.
• by the phenotype of the construction, which reminds of an assembly hall for ships.

this aspect especially supports the idea of a theatre as a place of production and a place of experiments. In the centre of the building ensemble is the production unit ‘stage | fly tower | workshops | allied functions’. the structure is an agglomeration of room boxes which are arranged around the fly tower and guarantee a functional and efficient performance for production and rehearsal. the sequence of the large stage, the back stage and the assembly hall drawn up in an echelon, forms and builds a backbone, an axis between the large and the small house. quick alterations, spontaneous changes and thus a maximum of flexibility is enabled by short, barrier free compactly organised corridors. the enormous extension of the ground floor zone, around the main stage, permits an optimal workflow, ideal for various future use. both auditoriums – the large theatre and the experimental theatre – will be docked on to this production unit from two different sides. thereby they get an equal and independent character, an own identity referring to each of the adjacent surroundings.

large playhouse
the large playhouse – a transparent, filigree main body (extensively glazed steel-girder frame) – refers towards the 'sankt annæ plads' road by its alignment, it opens to and frames the view to the opposite peninsular 'christiansholm' through a wide cantilevered, translucent roof. different modes of transport (cars | metrostation | busses | taxis | bicycles) are available from the 'sankt annæ plads' , an urban square, which faces the main facade , while also offering delivery facilities for the playhouse. In its interior the large hall hosts different fittings. here, the openly formed auditorium which extends into the lobby, stands in the centre. it derives its form from the optimisation of the acoustic and visual consideration of each single auditorium seat and from the maximum attention for the events on stage.

experimental theatre – black box
in contrast, the experimental theatre is clearly lower to maintain a free view of 'frederikskirken' and 'amalienborg' from the harbour side. similary, this small production hall utilises the floating roof. It has its own entrance, a pedestrian footbridge which starts out from the amalienhaven promenade. a square filled with trees compliments the park of the amalienhaven. a large open stair steers the view towards the opposite opera house, leads to the harbour basin. on this side the passers-by will find a café - restaurant with a large sun terrace.

the staged place between land and water
in contrast to the compact service block in the middle of the ensemble, the two lateral buildings seem lighter and more ephemeral because of the translucent skin. during the night they are illuminated from inside and act as an urban signet from a distance. their positioning on topographical deformed plateaux all surrounded around by water, emphasises the reference to the fleetingness, running and being in transit. the large open stair leading into the water gives this place its theatrical character.

designed by _matthias karch, coworking _carolin hoefler

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