Intro. Prague-Holešovice — Contemporary theatre has moved away from keeping up a strict distinction between its original domain vis-a-vis the social domain in general.
The boundaries between the various artistic and non artistic practices and their spatial implications in and around the theatre have been blurred.
As society became increasingly determined by visual culture, a culture of mediated and unmediated images in which people shop, zap, sex, walk and gaze, theatre had to redefine its position as a relevant producer of meaning.
There is a growing awareness of the theatrical impact of the various programs of human activity like shopping, sport, housing, etc. They have become subjcect to voyeuristic regimes, which increases the esthetic relevance of such programs. As an effect of visual culture this network of gazes has become an essential issue, which can be addressed by architecture.
The Building. Basically, there are 3 catagories of programs to be intertwined:
1. Theatre hardware and software;
2. Gazing programs;
3. Theatre-related programs.
Although the design of the building emphasises on the production of theatre in the traditional sense primarily, a Theatre of the World combined with other programs such as fashion, media, eating & drinking, sports and shopping is the central issue. These programs can mutually serve to be a their own background, source of inspiration or a neccesary counterbalance among themselves.
Showcases. In fact, the building can be conceived of as a network of showcases, which, on its turn, as a
whole is exposed in a huge glass box. This huge showcase also adresses the problem how to deal with monuments. The old boilerhouse is ‘museumized’ within the showcase. And whereas ‘museumized’, it offers an optional theatrical background.
The Transparency or translucency stresses the
rhizomatic being entangled condition of theatre and public. The translucent provokes the intriguing Glimpse... The glimpse provokes the gaze and keeps one on the move. Attractive but restless. The transparent and translucent may offer unexpected, be it dramatic effects, shifting a couple of times per year.
Container-frames. Architecture vis-a-vis scenic design. It may find a kind of climax in the infrastructural intervention facilitating distribution throughout the building of skeletons of the from harbours well-known multipurpose-container. The building could be ‘invaded’ by hundreds of these mobile elements, these container-frameworks.
Users. The building hosts its guest-theatre-groups for a couple of months in 50 studio-apartments. These theatre-makers configurate the building using the infrastructures, containerframes and other attributes.
The controllable climate inside the glass box encourages the building’s flexibility. Every term we are confronted with another building.
1999 OISTAT-Ideeënprijsvraag Praag i.s.m. Francine vd Putt