were particularly tricky to detail. The metal panels have a very thin profile, but the frosted glass panels are thick and incorporate a void with colour-changing LED lights sandwiched in between.

Several tests and mock ups of the glass facade were required to reduce the size of the bearings to minimise the amount of shadow visible on the coloured walls.

Aesthetics & acoustics

Vendsyssel Theatre is envisaged as a cultural hub, a meeting place of people of all ages, and a place to nurture local youngsters wanting to excel in theatrical art. Hjørring has a strong tradition for theatre, particularly theatrical experimentation and a thriving scene of small amateur theatre clubs.

Each hall employs a different aesthetic and acoustic approach. “Just as in the city each house has a different attitude and atmosphere,” says Kierkegaard. The flexible main theatre is all black inside with a shifting pattern of triangular panels on the walls that conceal perforated acoustic absorbers.


Several tests were done on the glass facade to minimise bearings and reduce visible shadows


Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Client: Hjørring Municipality Realdania

Local architect: Arkitektfirmaet Finn Østergaard Engineer: Brix & Kamp Landscape architect: LIW Planning Aps

Acoustic consultant: Gade & Mortensen Akustik

unmistakable contemporary material, yet its natural patina and matt surface closely match materials in surrounding old buildings. The steel will become stronger as the surface oxidises to form a protective layer more resistant to wear and tear. The illuminated elevations are a modern twist on the bright-coloured signage seen in London’s West End, New York’s Broadway, or the Moulin Rouge in Paris. In contrast, during the day the pastel colours behind the glass mimic those seen on existing plaster and brick facades in the surrounding area. “We wanted to create a modern expression with its own architectural language, rather than simply imitate the surrounding city; something totally different that would also be recognisable as a theatre, not another typology like housing or an office block,” says Kierkegaard. The sharp corners where the glass and corten steel come together


During the transformation process from a round theatre with a central stage into a semi-circular theatre with a stage at one end, sophisticated technical tricks are required to lower a section of seating into the floor then cover it over. According to the architect, designing the theatre to function in both modes was a challenge in terms of the spatial geometry and configuring the theatrical machinery, sound and lighting equipment for each mode.

The curved end of this theatre juts into the lobby space and features wooden benches carved into its lower level. In the future it can be used as a screen to project images and films onto. The music hall’s acoustics are specially customised for classical music and it has a much lighter interior with projecting timber blocks lining the walls. On one side of the hall, the lower part of the wall is open to reveal pink LED lights slotted behind the facade. SHL’s innovative approach to theatre

design, which splices together ideas of the theatre as a living organism and a micro- cosm of the city, has proved a major hit with the public. Since the theatre opened in January it is already a popular social hub and all shows for the current season have sold out, spurring on actors to experiment even more with their craft. 


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