PQ2007: Architects

Dutch contribution 2007

In the Netherlands, almost every town has its own theatre and performances travel to these theatres. In smaller towns, performances stay in one place for only one or two nights before they move on to the next location. This means the auditoria and stagehouses have to be very flexible – they must be equipped to deal with a great many different kinds of performances. For the sake of financial exploitability, these theatres should also be suited to accomodate other events, such as conferences, fairs and celebrations.
These circumstances make Dutch theatres unique in the world.
Moreover, during the past 10 to 15 years, performances have started to use more complex technical equipment. This means older theatres had to be adapted to be able to facilitate these performances.

As a result of this, a lot has happened in Dutch theatre architecture over the past years: new multifunctional theatres were built and older theatres were extended and renovated in order to deal with the changed theatrical situation.
The Dutch entry for the PQ Architecture Exhibition shows a number of theatre-projects that have been executed during the past 4 years. A few of the projects that will be shown are:

  • De Meerpaal in Dronten, originally designed and built in the 1960’s. The existing theatre was renovated and converted into a cinema, a new theatre was added and the two are connected by a kind of ‘urban plaza’, a lively meeting place with a bar and restaurant and lots of space for various activities. Architect: Atelier PRO.
  • De Toneelschuur in Haarlem is a prominent theatre housing the avant-garde of the Dutch drama, dance and film worlds. The well-known comic strip artist Joost Swarte made the initial sketches for the new building. Architect Henk Döll and ensured that it became a functioning building. Architect: Döll - Atelier voor Bouwkunst.
  • The Parkschouwburg in Eindhoven was built in 1960. In 2006 and 2007, the building was renovated and a new wing was added. The new wing contains new foyers and a multifunctional auditorium. The existing main auditorium is now suited for both theatre and concerts. Architect: Architecten-en-en.
  • The Royal Carré Theatre in Amsterdam, originally built in 1887. It was built as a circus theatre with small stage facilities and is now converted into a well-equipped theatre fit for all types of performances, including the circus. A new foyer was added in the dome of the roof. This foyer can also be used seperately for meetings and celebrations. Architect: Greiner Van Goor Huijten Architecten.
  • De Spiegel in Zwolle, built in 2005/2006. The basis is a theatre auditorium which seats 850 people. By raising the ceiling and enlarging the stage opening, the acoustic volume is almost tripled, thus converting the auditorium into a concert hall with 1.000 seats. Architect: Greiner van Goor Huijten Architecten.