On the edge of the Dutch medieval town of Terneuzen the architects Storme Van Ranst have designed a new theatre. To accommodate performances of opera, dance and musicals, this has become a multifunctional building with all the technica! facilities required by these various artistic forms. In terms of architectural expression, the architects have sought to connect with the existing building lines of the surrounding residential area. The building is faced with red brick, a material widely used in the adjacent housing and the apparent height of the theatre tower and auditorium were minimised through the use of stepped farms to relate to the surrounding town fabric.
A square has been designed in front of the theatre with a garden which guides visitors to the entrance in a considered manner. The portico is crowned by an architrave, which helps to define the sober but dignified appearance of the façade. Inside, the foyer space rises to a height of ten metres, and contains a mezzanine and a grand staircase with operatie touches.
From the foyer visitors enjoy an excellent view of the wide Scheldt estuary. The sea is nearby and is linked to the foyer space through the use of large glazed openings. The large theatre can seat 800 people, and the smaller one seats 200.
In this project the designers have integrated architecture and advanced theatre technology to create a high-performance building with facilities both in front of and behind the scenes making it possible to present demanding productions to a perceptive audience.