In October 2012 a competition was launched to find a team to design a 4,200 sq m cultural hub for the Danish town of Hjørring. The winning design was submitted by a team including schmidt hammer lassen architects, Arkitektfirmaet Finn Østergaard, Brix & Kamp, ALECTIA, Gade & Mortensen Akustik, AIX Arkitekter, Filippa Berglund scenography, and LIW Planning.
The architectural ambition for the new Vendsyssel Theatre and Experience Centre has been to create a building which blends into the surrounding environment while standing out as a new, vibrant organism in the city. Completion of Vendsyssel Theatre and Experience Centre is expected in 2016.
”We have designed a project where the architectural and functional concept has five main themes: integration in the city, openness, functionality, flexibility and materiality,” explained John Foldbjerg Lassen, Founding Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.
“We have designed a significant building which relates to its function in a pragmatic way. It invites both active use and quiet breaks. It is a building which radiates its cultural meaning - it dares to be different, without stealing the focus from the existing qualities in the city.”
The Theatre and Experience Centre consists of a complex of buildings - a city within the city. Its characteristic corten steel façade, with its warm rusty red colours, corresponds with the area’s existing plaster and brick façades; thereby creating an aesthetic whole between the city, the front plaza and the theatre building.
Inside, an open plan solution ensures visual and physical connections across the building. The boundaries between publicly accessible areas and the more traditional theatre functions are blurred.
In the building layout special attention has been paid to making sure that all functions can operate optimally. At the same time many areas can be joined and the circulation areas can be used as backstage facilities.
”The open plan ensures a high level of flexibility in the building, and only your imagination sets the limit for where and how the theatre productions can take place,” said Rasmus Kierkegaard, Associate Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects. “Actors and staff are visible to the visitors in the building, and the building will appear vibrant even with only a few persons present.”
Architect team: schmidt hammer lassen architects, Arkitektfirmaet Finn Østergaard A/S
Client: Municipality of Hjørring, Realdania
Engineer: Brix & Kamp A/S, ALECTIA A/S
Landscape architect: LIW Planning Aps
Other consultants: Gade & Mortensen Akustik A/S, AIX Arkitekter AB, Filippa Berglund, scenograf, arkitekt maa