PQ2007: De Toneelschuur (ENG)

De Toneelschuur - a cartoon comes to life in Haarlem

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 in his own inimitable style. Henk Döll was responsible for the architectural design and ensured that it became a well-functioning building. Each section of the building is given a different atmosphere through variations in height, form and use of materials. Despite its size, the building sits naturally in its surroundings.

Commissioned by De Toneelschuur, cartoonist Joost Swarte made a sketch design for ‘a new home for De Toneelschuur’. Based on this sketch study, Henk Döll further developed the design for the Toneelschuur in collaboration with Joost Swarte.

In the design the different functions of the theatre complex are located in different building parts. The new building is dominated by an inclined glass front. The intention of this glass wall is to separate the building from the city whilst simultaneously creating a mutual connection.

In order to function smoothly the Toneelschuur requires practical solutions for the theatre technique and the handling of public crowds. Loading and unloading before and after the performances is also crucial: strict regulations have to be accorded with to limit inconveniences for the district. Therefore all building parts are physically connected to the ‘technical slice’. This slice is the back-bone of the building. All technical services are located here. The two theatre halls, the two movie theatres, the refreshment room, the theatre bar and the garage are situated on both sides of the technical slice.

The offices are situated in several existing buildings surrounding the theatre, which will be visually integrated with the complex. The wide foyer on the ground floor forms the heart of the building. Because of the sloping glass façade foyer and street are connected with each other. The foyer not only provides entrance to the halls, but also to the theatre bar.

The different building parts each have their own expression with a variation in height and form. This effect is emphasised by using different materials such as glass, brick, plaster, wood, concrete panels, zinc and copper. In this way the building nestles itself in its neighbourhood. It makes a connection with both the dimensions and scale of the adjacent concert building and the delicate, small-scale surrounding urban structure.

De Toneelschuur is a project of Henk Döll from his Mecanoo-time.

Döll – Atelier voor Bouwkunst
Döll – Atelier voor Bouwkunst is founded in 2003 and based in Rotterdam. Architect Henk Döll, who worked for 20 years as founding-partner at Mecanoo architects, directs the office. A few years ago Henk Döll introduced the notion of ‘reflective practice’ into architectural practice. This notion stands for an attitude on the part of the architect whereby creativity and innovation is deployed in order to tackle the design task in an undogmatic way. The focus is on the interaction between the brief and the design in open communication between the various parties. This is the philosophy that lies at the basis of Henk Döll’s new office: Döll – Atelier voor Bouwkunst. The office consists of an international team of 30 highly qualified and enthusiastic staff working on a variety of Dutch and international projects. The core activities are architecture, urban planning and interior design. Besides that the office strives to deepen the profession by looking for crossovers with other disciplines and by addressing social issues from an architectural point of view. More information you find on our website (www.dollab.nl).

Henk Döll
Henk Döll (Haarlem, 1956) graduated in 1984 from the Faculty of Architecture at Delft University of Technology. As a result of winning and realising the ‘Kruisplein’ housing competition in Rotterdam (1980-1985), he was already working during his studies as an independent architect in the firm of Döll-Houben-Steenhuis. In 1983 this cooperative firm was changed into the Delft-based office of Mecanoo, in which he was partner until mid-2003. Within Mecanoo Henk Döll was responsible as leading architect for more than 100 projects and was also closely involved in many of the office’s other works. A number of his projects, such as the Park Haagseweg residential area in Amsterdam, the Almelo Public Library, the multi-functional Rochussenstraat building in Rotterdam, and theatre the Toneelschuur in Haarlem, are key projects in the history of Dutch architecture. At Mecanoo he received various prizes and distinctions, such as the Rotterdam-Maaskant Prize for Young Architects in 1987, “for his innovative contribution to housing architecture”. His work has been shown at numerous exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad and is often published in Dutch and international magazines and books.

After 20 years of directing Mecanoo Architects Henk Döll made a new step forward by founding Döll - Atelier voor Bouwkunst in 2003. With a team of 30 highly educated staff, the office aims for a more dynamic and experimental identity. Communication with the client and the quality of the creative process stands paramount. The office mainly focuses on projects in the Netherlands and Germany, however it is also actively involved in overseas projects. Architecture is the core discipline. Alongside this the office also practices urban planning, landscape architecture and the design of public space, as well as having a concern for interior design, industrial design and art. The combination of these disciplines with sustainability delivers unique and valuable results. The style of the work can be characterised as modern and modest, in combination with an expressive use of materials. The increasingly amount of work in Germany has let to a new partnership in Hamburg, Cordsen Ipach + Döll.

Henk Döll published the book ‘Komposities voor stad en woning’ (‘Compositions for City and Residence’, Groningen, 1989) and introduced the notion of ‘the Reflective Architect’ in architectural practice (Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1999). He regularly gives guest lectures and presentations and teaches at various architectural schools, both in the Netherlands and abroad. His appointments have included a guest professorship at the Institüt für Städtebau, Raumplanung und Raumordnung of the Technische Universität Wien (1995) and the Eliel Saarinen chair at the College of Architecture + Urban Planning of the University of Michigan (2000/2001). He has served on numerous competition juries and is currently a board member of the Dutch ‘Genootschap Architectura et Amicitia’, the ‘Atelier HSL Foundation’ and of the ‘Foundation Professional Traineeship for Young Architects’.