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Dutch Architecture Joost Swarte and Mecanoo "The Toneelschuur"

Collaboration Theatre “Toneelschuur” in Haarlem

Commissioned by the “Toneelschuur” the international well know artist and designer Joost Swarte born in Haarlem in 1996 make a sketch for a new residence for the “Toneelschuur” These sketches ware a study for the possibilities to fit the “Toneelschuur” into a new location. a Discreetly positioned theatre in the heart of Haarlem, Netherlands. Wedged between existing structures along a narrow and winding streetinto a new location. In this plan, the program is divided into a number of separate components, Each with its own function. Within this separation of functions is a simultaneous use of the public areas possible and is also the guaranty of  joint use of generic functions. An ingenious corner solution makes space for the expedition garage, where above all the cinemas are placed to create a expressive volume. A characteristic feature is the sloping glass facade, that is visible from the Klokhuisplein. The wall separates the building and the city, but simultaneously imposes a mutual relationship between building and city.

Joost Swarte and Mecanoo "The Toneelschuur"
Joost Swarte and Mecanoo “The Toneelschuur”

Based on the sketch of Joost Swarte the board of the “Toneelschuur” and the city of Haarlem decided in 1997 to make this project ready for further elaboration and implementation. Mecanoo architects from Delft was ask in 1998 to work with Joost Swarte in close collaboration. Using a material palette of exposed brick and grey tile turn into warm wood floors. Resulting in a concrete partitions evoking the transition from the cityscape into the intimate rooms.

Joost Swarte and Mecanoo "The Toneelschuur"
Joost Swarte and Mecanoo “The Toneelschuur”

For the proper functioning of the building is the solution of the flows of the public and the theatre technology essential. In addition, the loading and unloading before and after the performance is crucial as well, because this strict requirements for reducing nuisance for the neighborhood. They divided various functions into a number of building elements which are all connected to a “technical disk”. This disc is the backbone of the building, where all technical facilities are housed. On both sides of the technical area are the two theaters, two cinemas, the foyers, the theater bar and garage for loading and unloading. The offices are housed in a number of existing old buildings that are visible integrated in the entire complex and refer to the historic of the buildings. For the public, the spacious foyer on the ground floor is the heart of the building. Because the large glass front the street as it were is brought inside, creating an open contact between inside and outside.  

Joost Swarte and Mecanoo "The Toneelschuur"
Joost Swarte and Mecanoo “The Toneelschuur”
Joost Swarte and Mecanoo "The Toneelschuur"
Joost Swarte and Mecanoo “The Toneelschuur”

Story by: Gabriëlle Voogt
Source: Designboom, dezeen, internet, Wikipedia
Photos: Courtesy of Mecanoo architects


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