You are on page 1of 11

Theater Agora

UNS/udio I Ben "an &r1d + B...M ;. 0<.'1\ IIU j;

If! ':! IIllt . B+\l. <;! 3f.:l
Locat ion ; Lelystad. TheNemerlands
Function : Thelllef
Sit. area : 2.925nl
Bldg. Ifea : 5.890rrl
Design participa l lon : Gerard tcoaekcct, JaCQl,les V/ln Wijk.
Job Mouwenen Holger Hoffmaon. KMi Iran,
Christian Vedoelet. Christian Bergmann,
Sabine Habicht. Ramon Herl"llmdel. Ron Roos.
ReneWvsk. OaudiaDorO'I. Markus Berger,
Markus Jacobi . Kenmonkwo. Hankaorecve
J5gen Grahl-Madsenu
Photograph, r : ChflS1'/In Richte'S
: 2.92501
B :
TheIv;pa Theater is an extremely lXllourlul, determinedly upbeat place. The
building is part of the masterplan for l elystad by Adnaan Geuze, whidl aims
to revitalize the pragmatic, sober town center. The theater responds to the
ongoing mission of reviving and recovering the post -war Dutch new towns by
focusing on the archetypal function of a theater. that of creating a world of
arurce and enchantment. Both inside and outside walls are faceted to recon-
struct the kaleidoscopic experience of the world of the stage, where you can
never be sure of what is real and what is not. In the Ago ra theater drama and
perf orma nce are not rest ricted to the stage and to the evening, but are
extended to the urban experience and to dayt ime.
The typology of the theater is fascinating in itself, but Ben van Benc.el, who
has a special interest in how buildings communicate wit h people, aims to
exploit the performance element of the theater and of architecture in general
far beyond its conventional functioning
Thefaceted outl ines of the theater have a Ioog history n the worl< of UNStucIO
and Van Berkel & 80s Architecture office before that. In this case, the enve-
lope is generated in part by the necessity to place the t'NO aud itoriums as far
apart from each other as possible for acoustic reasons. Thus, a larger and a
smal ler theatrical space, a stage tower, several interlinked and separate foy-
ers, numerous dressi ng rooms, multi -functional rooms, a cafe and a restau-
rant are all brought together within one volume that protrudes dramatically in
various directions. This facet ed envelope also results in a more even silhou-
ette; the raised technical block containing the stage mach inery, which could
otherwise have been a visual obstacle in the town, is now smoothly incorpo-
rated . All of the facades have sharp angles and jutt ing planes, which are cov-
ered by steel pl ates and glasses, often layered, in sha des of yellow and
oranqe. These protrusions afford places where the spectade of display is
continued off-stage and the roles of performer and viewer may be reversed.
Theartists's foyer, for instance, is above the entrance, enabling the artists to
watch the audience approaching the theater froma large , inclined window.
Inside, the OOIourfulness of the outside increases in intensity; a handr<U exe-
cut ed as a snaking pink ribbon cascades down the main staircase, wI'lds
itselfall around the void at the center of the large , open foyer space on ll1e
first floor and then extends up the wall towards the roof, oplicany changing
colour all the while fromviol et, crimson and cherry to almost while.
The main theater is all in red. Unusually for a lown of this size, the stage is
very big, enabling the staging of large, international productions. The intimate
dimen sions of the audi tori um itsel f are emphasized by the horse-shoe
shaped balcony and by the vibrant forms and shades of the acoustic panel-
( wri tten by UNSludio)
s5t 01m
of=ztc'J *.2J 'j!!f<l l
ct 71ii-, Af;lII*
!'!'!X11 g'lJ Lil'iil'2t.P.l tl.AI ::tH{!!i!f
q. 41 , .!f-C Ajl J1IJi!.C\lP-l
ot't! 'U -'1'7f Wcr,
AILIo/I x-@.'iJ;:t1Pl.:i! ';;JAR!
'!'I \'m8Cf.
01 OH=
;l;1Of 't!' tJ-/!f0171e2l7ro-i ;:mi!f l!

't!' & .!i!.
-'1' '1l*<lIl! '1lCi'. 01 Wf.. 21iIfC
.!f. 7\121 AiS!. '2!
'lJSfO:l.3.2 . .!j!qI, A'l
Cf'T'21 7'fiill. -- AP!t2..
t;J421 H ..101I l]1Ci'. 01
JIJ .AW i .!l'lt D1 Oll]1c
0llniE;l}il . .2.e itJ-Af':'c 4-l0l48 'U

.l.lfO:j Vc:.f. Oli!m fLIl -'flDl]Ai '217!;:tJ2} !-Z11
21 'lI{jj -T- 9.I.c- -SOl '2171;:tfEJ {j .t:l17f
T -'1/011 ;:m.Q. .2.c T 'nC/-.
4\OIAi :I
'dl.101 Ef.:i! cnr.3.2 .ttl ttl g{}-'f9'-I-!-
tl":il. t.fAI ern JJI2.l stollAiEi !;!o$f;:tl

9- Llli= '#lJ-' ...IIOIt.f. AII iT.2.DlfC: 'M;:t l 8/-JlI 01 oW 7i
Ai r.QT1.2. we;q..2'Yl
'l1 /OfO:l 'net.
Top View
- .
_ _0'0-000
,. ...... "-0 .
........ ...-..
"'_ _0 ' .0- _.
- ........
- _.


Facade roof foldout
First floorplan
Secondfloor plan
Southeast tecedeview Northwest facade view
I I !
, I I f
"f'" '.
.. ,1.. .
... of " "
~ "Y
Ben van Berkel I I! 't.f11\ _
Ben lIan Be-xer stcoeo archnectu re at the Rletlleld Academy In
Amsterdam and atne Association In London, lecer-,og
the AADloloma.....,hHonours 111 1987.
tn 1966 he and Caroline Bos set UP an arcr stecturat practice In
Amste<dam. The Van Berkel & Bos ArcMeclure office has realized
amoncst others proleCts the Karbol/W otuce bt/oldong, the Erasmus
bridge in Rotterdam, museum Hel Valkho! in Nljmegen,
Currently he is Professor Conceptual Design at the staecerscnoie in
Frankfurt am Main.
l!! 'Zle i:!!01 'Zl e AA6iiOll"ll!Q
- i .... 19871:!! AA 19l1!11!! ae 1I-I2I21 !l .:"o2! ! 'lI
I!! Ill. s ec JU.31'nq.l!!IIl' & :z!.AfH i't
Q2l. "It:! 1/.3
-'j>- 'll! 81'll C/. jI!.q e e
er .&8\:<1 'ZlC/.
~ . .
Third lloor plan
Second floor plan
First floor plan