Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has just scooped first place in a competition to design the Vendsyssel Theater and Experience Center in Hjørring, Denmark. Clad in Corten steel and glass, the 45,000 square-foot development will bring a dose of modernity to the city without detracting from the area’s existing architectural typology.
Consisting of a series of rectilinear blocks, the Vendsyssel Theater will feature open-plan layouts to strengthen the visual and physical connections between each building. To offer a new “glimpse of the backstage,” Schmidt Hammer Lassen blurred the lines between publicly accessible areas and traditional theater facilities to create an extremely flexible and adaptable layout. Rather than separating actors and staff from the public, these typically backstage entities will be made visible to all visitors. Circulation areas such as stairways and hallways could also be set up as backstage facilities and impromptu stages.
”We have designed a project where the architectural and functional concept has five main themes: integration in the city, openness, functionality, flexibility and materiality,” says John Foldbjerg Lassen, Founding Partner at Schmidt Hammer Lassen. “It is a building which radiates its cultural meaning – it dares to be different, without stealing the focus from the existing qualities in the city.” The theater complex is slated for completion in 2016.