The Bijlmer Parktheatre is a multifunctional building for four users; a circus (Circus Elleboog), a theatre (Krater Theater), the Youth Theatre School and the Theatre Workplace, all professional organisations in the field of talent development, cultural education, production and programming.
How can you ensure that a design process proceeds efficiently, decisively and harmoniously when time is limited, but at the same time you must take into account the divergent requirements and interests of four different users? Paul de Ruiter developed a dynamic programme of requirements – a flexible design process with a plan that was not already drawn up in detail.
The elliptical shape of the building did mean that it was necessary to search for a financially viable way of reproducing this rounded shape in the partially glass façade. The solution was found in a combination of wooden slats and vertical aluminium strips placed against the steel and glass sections of the facade. This means that the intersection points of the segmented façade are not visible and the building has a rounded, dynamic and somewhat abstract appearance that changes continually as you walk around it.
During the day, the striking shape of the cultural building makes it clearly recognisable, while it is conspicuous in the evening because of its colour, which can be altered to fit the occasion. This is made possible by the use of LED lighting. A line of light is fitted behind the steal façade in the façade, shining downwards. Because this light shines against the steel façade and the wooden slats, the building acquires an appearance of transparency, as if the light is coming from inside the building. The illumination of the building increases the level of safety and makes the cultural building clearly visible from the urban surroundings.
One requirement that was specifically identified during the workshops was the need for daylight in the main auditorium. Lessons and rehearsals would take place here during the day, and a good level of daylight access is very important for the atmosphere and sense of orientation. For this reason, a glass surround was created on the first floor all around the main auditorium. This solution not only allows a maximum capture of light, it also makes it possible for parents and others who may be interested to watch lessons and rehearsals unobtrusively. These windows can be darkened to keep out the light when performances are held.
In addition to the main auditorium, the cultural building has a spacious foyer, rehearsal rooms, three studios, storage rooms, dressing rooms, a sewing room, meeting facilities and offices. The building accommodates the four user groups en the dance class of the Amsterdam School of Arts. For all these users the three storeys are arranged. The main auditorium extends to the height of all three storeys and one of the studios is two storeys high.
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