in Denmark. In the past, people tended to express the cultural power of theatre in architecture, today we are in a completely different world, so we had a lot of thoughts on what that might mean. We also had to take into account the fact that Hjørring is a holiday location, in the northern part of the country, and not necessarily associated with theatre and culture.” The 4,200 m2

building is conceived

as a “theatre and experience house”, a multifunctional complex with a ground floor concert hall, ‘black box’ theatre, a rehearsal hall, and a 430-seat flexible hall able to switch between an ‘in-the-round’ theatre in the mode of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, and a theatre with a more conventional layout with the stage at the front of the auditorium. The ground floor also accommodates a spacious foyer with a cafe, backstage area, a workshop and dressing rooms. The first floor provides office, admin and technical support space.

The designers took a pragmatic view of culture as an opportunity and experience for all. Therefore, space has been created for both scheduled and ad hoc events in a plaza at the front of the building, inside the foyer and on a grand staircase, where visitors can choose to be spectators or even participate in activities.

Miniature metropolis

Another design concept is the notion of creating a “city within the city” by dividing the building into a series of separate cubic volumes, connected by generous circulation and meeting areas, similar to the streets and squares of a city.

Actors and staff are able to flow between the different blocks, as easily as blood in an artery. The theatre’s location, between the main train and bus stations and a main shopping area, encourages the general public to pass through from one side to the other, and maybe stop to meet or buy food at the cafe.

Creating a microcosm of a city made practical sense in terms of the building’s internal logistics – exploding the large volume into cubic blocks helped streamline pathways for the complex services for electrics, air conditioning, lighting etc. The less imposing massing helped merge the theatre into the local urban context, says Kierkegaard: “Had we designed the theatre traditionally, as single volume, it would have been very dominant compared to the site and the surrounding buildings. Breaking the


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