Lederer + Ragnarsdóttir + Oei: Hessisches Staatstheater - best architects 09 gold

Lederer + Ragnarsdóttir + Oei

Hessisches Staatstheater

best architects 09 gold

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Roland Halbe


In order to sustain theatre production during renovation of the main auditorium, a theatre provisory was built in to the space occupied by the multi-lane access to the basement car park. In 1972, Architect Rudolf Prange has conceived this sort of “drive-in-theatre” in lightweight concrete. Unless its location in the heart of the city, Prange designed a theatre, that could be reached primarily by car. A new entrance building, which has been erected in 2005 in front of the existing theatre, now invites also pedestrians to visit the two auditoriums. Technical deficiencies required a general renovation of the State Theatre. Soon it became clear, that it was also necessary to find substitute halls for the auditoriums. The proposal of the direction of the theatre was to find these halls in a different building or to pitch a large tent beside the old theatre.We proposed however, to install a theatre provisory in the basement car park – being aware that even this solution has to be a “low cost project”. But an undenyable advantage became evident: After the conclusion of the general renovation (at the end of 2006), this new space still can be used as a studio theatre. Illuminated glass block partitions are framing the entrance to this new arrangement. Involving the existing flight of stairs, we planned a bar on the old entresol. This area now is open to the new, two storey high foyer and is varnished in glaring red. For its illumination we installed three chandeliers made of pig iron – undoubtable part of the provisional concept.