Bijlmer Parktheater

Anton de Komplein 240
Paul de Ruiter, Willem Jan Landman, Dieter Blok
Architectenbureau Paul de Ruiter
Arup (constructie-advies), Theateradvies BV en Halmos (installatie-advies)
Stadsdeel Zuidoost i.s.m. Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Gemeente Amsterdam
Bouwbedrijf M.J. de Nijs en Zonen B.V
metro 54, stop Bijlmer Arena
Dit project is o.m. gepubliceerd in Amsterdamse Architectuur 2009-2010; ARCAM POCKET 23. Klik hier voor meer boeken uit de reeks Â’ARCAM POCKETÂ’.

Bijlmer park theatre

The Bijlmer Park Theatre in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district is the place par excellence where young people can develop their theatrical talents. The pavilion-like building stands on the edge of Bijlmerpark and is home to Circus Elleboog, Krater Theater, the Youth Theatre School and the Theatre Workshop.

It is an oval-shaped building, whose upper storeys are staggered in relation to the ground floor. This gives rise to a covered entrance, which strengthens the structure of the urban design scheme by Rein Geurtsen & Partners and Mecanoo architects, in which openness and visibility play a key role. Next to the entrance is a flight of steps, which functions as tiered seating on the water’s edge.

The facade consists of vertically positioned corrugated aluminium sheets, which are interrupted by tall windows. The wooden ribs on the joins between the corrugated sheets give the building a pronounced verticality and a dynamic appearance. Moreover, the character of the building alters according to the angle from which it is viewed. Due to the use of LED lighting, at night the building is a beacon, whose colour can be adjusted if so desired.

One of the subjects that emerged during workshops with the building’s users, was that daylighting in theatres is often poor. A dark theatre is obviously desirable during a performance, but daylight is required for rehearsals. This has been solved in the Bijlmer Park Theatre by creating a glazed circulation gallery around the main auditorium on the first floor. This maximizes the penetration of daylight and from here rehearsals can be watched without disturbing the performers. The windows can be darkened during a performance.

Another important item on the agenda was the character of the main auditorium. Circus Elleboog preferred a circular auditorium with a clear height of seven metres for acrobatic and trapeze acts. The other groups, however, wanted a traditional theatre. Both requirements were eventually incorporated in the design. The theatre, which has a maximum height of three storeys, has an elongated shape and on either side of the stage there is a protrusion with additional seating. The wings can be shifted for a variety of circus and theatre arrangements. As the beating heart of the building, the main auditorium is emphasized by a black exterior, on which children and other visitors can chalk a message.
The Bijlmer Park Theatre was officially taken into use on 9 October 2009 with a theatrical opening ritual. (ARCAM/FG)