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Thursday 09 Sep 2010

Queen officially opens Amphion Theatre redesigned by Mecanoo

Yesterday, Queen Beatrix officially opened the new Amphion theatre in Doetinchem. Theatre Director Henk Raben and architect Francesco Veenstra toured Her Majesty around the new theatre complex, which replaces the successful Amphion from the 1970s.

The new theatre features slightly reclined facades with sand-coloured masonry and a playful pattern of square windows. From the interior, this arrangement creates surprising compositions imbuing each space with its own character. The audience enters the theatre through an ascending forecourt which plays the role of a red carpet. Warm red shades prevail within the spacious interior of four linked foyers.

The horseshoe-shaped main auditorium with three balconies and a total of 860 seats maintains an intimate atmosphere owing to the close proximity of the audience to the stage. The small 300 seat theatre has added flexibility due to a flat floor construction, and is almost an exact replica of the small theatre hall of the old Amphion. Because performances change relatively quickly, loading and unloading is now centrally located between the two stages. Uniquely, the large and small theatre halls have windows, so that theatre technicians can work in daylight.

Francesco Veenstra, project architect Mecanoo commented: "It's a theatre of the highest technical quality, yet with the intimate atmosphere of a classic theatre. With its striking shades of red, it has become a festive cultural temple for the Achterhoek region.”

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