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  7. Theatre Agora / UNStudio

Theatre Agora / UNStudio

  • 01:00 - 3 January, 2011
Theatre Agora / UNStudio
Theatre Agora / UNStudio, © Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

© Christian Richters © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan +36

From the architect. The Agora Theatre is an extremely colourful, determinedly upbeat place. The building is part of the masterplan for Lelystad by Adriaan Geuze, which aims to revitalize the pragmatic, sober town centre. The theatre responds to the ongoing mission of reviving and recovering the post-war Dutch new towns by focusing on the archetypal function of a theatre: that of creating a world of artifice and enchantment. Both inside and outside walls are faceted to reconstruct the kaleidoscopic experience of the world of the stage, where you can never be sure of what is real and what is not. In the Agora theatre drama and performance are not restricted to the stage and to the evening, but are extended to the urban experience and to daytime.

section 01
section 01

The typology of the theatre is fascinating in itself, but Ben van Berkel, who has a special interest in how buildings communicate with people, aims to exploit the performance element of the theatre and of architecture in general far beyond its conventional functioning. As he recently stated: “The product of architecture can at least partly be understood as an endless live performance. As the architectural project transforms, becomes abstracted, concentrated and expanded, becomes diverse and evermore scaleless, all of this happens in interaction with a massive, live audience. Today, more than ever, we feel that the specificity of architecture is not itself contained in any aspect of the object. The true nature of architecture is found in the interaction between the architect, the object and the public. The generative, proliferating, unfolding effect of the architectural project continues beyond its development in the design studio in its subsequent public use.” (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, Design Models, Thames & Hudson, 2006).

© Christian Richters
© Christian Richters

The facetted outlines of the theatre have a long history in the work of UNStudio and Van Berkel & Bos Architectuurbureau before that. In this case, the envelope is generated in part by the necessity to place the two auditoriums as far apart from each other as possible for acoustic reasons. Thus, a larger and a smaller theatrical space, a stage tower, several interlinked and separate foyers, numerous dressing rooms, multifunctional rooms, a café and a restaurant are all brought together within one volume that protrudes dramatically in various directions. This facetted envelope also results in a more even silhouette; the raised technical block containing the stage machinery, which could otherwise have been a visual obstacle in the town, is now smoothly incorporated. All of the facades have sharp angles and jutting planes, which are covered by steel plates and glass, often layered, in shades of yellow and orange. These protrusions afford places where the spectacle of display is continued off-stage and the roles of performer and viewer may be reversed. The artists’s foyer, for instance, is above the entrance, enabling the artists to watch the audience approaching the theatre from a large, inclined window.

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

Inside, the colorfulness of the outside increases in intensity; a handrail executed as a snaking pink ribbon cascades down the main staircase, winds itself all around the void at the centre of the large, open foyer space on the first floor and then extends up the wall towards the roof, optically changing color all the while from violet, crimson and cherry to almost white. The main theatre is all in red. Unusually for a town of this size, the stage is very big, enabling the staging of large, international productions. The intimate dimensions of the auditorium itself are emphasized by the horse-shoe shaped balcony and by the vibrant forms and shades of the acoustic paneling.

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan

The theatre is the most recent culmination of the interest Ben van Berkel has often expressed in exploring attractiveness, as this quotation from a recent publication shows: “The aim of our architecture is to intensify the gaze, to inspire thoughts and images and thus make it attractive for people to stay longer and return to the places we make for them. Keeping it light and almost scientific is our policy; the ploys invented to intensify the gaze are directly related to the traditional ingredients of architecture: construction, light, circulation, and so on.” (Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, After Image, 2006). The architect considers the Agora Theatre one of the most challenging projects he has undertaken, resulting in unusual and highly creative inventions, such as the handrail.

© Iwan Baan
© Iwan Baan
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Theatre Agora / UNStudio" 03 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/100224/theatre-agora-unstudio/>
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42 Comments

AliGhaffarianHoseini · July 07, 2012

Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://t.co/vhj9A837

Riton Baton · April 25, 2012

Theatre Agora / UNStudio | ArchDaily http://t.co/MaJKMlF9 ? ??????? @archdaily

giacomo abbà · August 23, 2011

http://is.gd/klcKQ @plethoraapp

FAB · April 10, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://fb.me/OXp5WQ9d

p · January 15, 2011

Its a fantastic project. Great job.

Gabe Ruane · January 15, 2011

Theater design, Dutch - #architecture http://is.gd/klcKQ @plethoraapp

archizip · January 12, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio | ArchDaily http://t.co/DWKWtYQ via @archdaily

Nathalie Zegarra · January 12, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio | http://is.gd/kA0dK

Bitna Hong · January 09, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio | ArchDaily http://t.co/4xr9fYU via @archdaily ?? ????? ?????..~ ????? ??? ???? ?~ ??? ??.??

Nicholas Patten · January 08, 2011

Theatre Agora. http://bit.ly/h5QI3y

June Street · January 07, 2011

http://www.archdaily.com/10022...
Inspiration for our Huntington Park medical clinic.

fred · January 05, 2011

Diller Scofidio at Boston/NYC marries OMA/Oporto. With Dutch Orange thrown in just to nail things.

Yikes!

After first impression, this is very self conscious/too self conscious stuff.

Filipe de Faria · January 04, 2011

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Ujenzi Bora · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio #Magnificent! http://bit.ly/g7T4Qs

Als · January 04, 2011

It's not what they are known for. It doesn't have conceptional integrity.

observer · January 04, 2011 10:14 PM

conceptwhaaaat???

Goutam Mitra · January 04, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://archdai.ly/i3A4XC #architecture

CurvyCorners · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio | ArchDaily http://t.co/PvfZxAq via @archdaily #architecture

Mat_kat · January 04, 2011

another copy of Opera house in Skopje, Macedonia

Arhangel · January 05, 2011 04:14 PM

Pozdrav Mat-kat,dobices skopsko!

tuttibubulonis · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / #UNStudio: © Christian Richters Architects: UNStudio in collaboration with B… http://goo.gl/fb/Te9SY

Jürgen Denifle · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://bit.ly/g3iEwt Interesting read

Valentina Diotallevi · January 04, 2011

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James Vandezande · January 04, 2011

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DEZIGN · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio: © Christian RichtersArchitects: UNStudio in collaboration with B + M, Den Haag Locatio... http://bit.ly/dHU0HN

Gordienko Roman · January 04, 2011
daqb design · January 04, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://archdai.ly/i3A4XC #architecture

architecture3s · January 04, 2011

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Andrés Rosenberg · January 04, 2011

Una de las obras más lindas que he publicado en ArchDaily: Teatro en Países Bajos: http://bit.ly/hlRmeg

Gergely Szabó · January 04, 2011

The Agora Theatre in Lelystad, The Netherlands http://is.gd/k2kIY

Gaëlle Cojean · January 04, 2011

Encore des ingénieurs qui ont du bien s&#39amuser ! http://t.co/yRTGnjs #architecture

AF · January 04, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://archdai.ly/i3A4XC #architecture

Barry Maguire · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio via ArchDaily - © Christian Richters Architects: UNStudio in collaboration ... http://tinyurl.com/2ezvx2c

Engy · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio via ArchDaily - © Christian Richters Architects: UNStudio in collaboration ... http://tinyurl.com/259nan7

ArchTech&Design · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio http://archdai.ly/i3A4XC #architecture

José Antonio Gras · January 04, 2011

Espectacular el Theatre Agora, de UNStudio http://bit.ly/gTGZz2

Corporate Punk · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio: © Christian RichtersArchitects: UNStudio in collaboration with B + M, Den Haag Locatio... http://bit.ly/hfLfZo

Olya Mychaniv · January 04, 2011

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Peter Newton · January 04, 2011

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Flávio FM · January 04, 2011

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Caro Zmora · January 04, 2011

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Julia · January 04, 2011

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André Moraes · January 04, 2011

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Bocetos Digitales · January 04, 2011

Theatre Agora / UNStudio: © Christian RichtersArchitects: UNStudio in collaboration with B + M, Den Haag Locatio... http://bit.ly/dLxvCW

···

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