Vendsyssel is Denmark’s first newly built theatre in over a century outside of the Danish capital of Copenhagen. The 4,200 m2 theatre and culture building has been designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects as a dynamic and multifunctional complex that includes a music hall, a Black Box, a rehearsal hall and a 430 seat flexible hall which includes a round theatre. In addition, the building houses offices and a spacious lobby area with a café and a backstage area with workshop and dressing rooms. With its central location in the heart of Hjørring, the theatre aims to become a dynamo for the entire region’s cultural life.
The building appears as a composition of cubic blocks. The warm rusty red Corten steel facades correspond with its surroundings during the day, whilst the LED backed frosted glass facades illuminate in various colors during the evening, thus, creating an aesthetic link between the town, the front plaza and the theatre building.
“It is our ambition that the building will manifest itself as a new living organism in the cityscape,” says founding partner John Foldbjerg Lassen. “It is a building which stands by its cultural significance and which dares to be different without taking focus away from the town’s existing qualities.”
Architectural, functional and experiential emphasis has been placed on five main themes: anchoring in town, transparency, functionality, flexibility and materiality. The result is a striking building, which relates pragmatically to its function and which invites to both active use and quiet breaks.
The approach to the building’s design has been a pragmatic view of culture as an opportunity and experience for all. Therefore, space has been created for both scheduled and ad hoc events outside in the plaza, inside the foyer and on the grand staircase where visitors can choose to be spectators or participate in the activities.
Inside, an open plan solution ensures visual and physical connections across the building. The boundaries between publicly accessible areas and the more traditional theatre functions are blurred.
“We’ve designed emphasis on the interaction between artists and spectators. Inside, all the major halls can be opened to the foyer, the use of glass and windows in different rooms creates visual connections and the performers can get a glimpse of the public from their lounge on the top level.” – John Foldbjerg Lassen
Design and info © Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Images © Adam Mørk