Norwegian Association of Norwegian Architects
The design for the new theatre and concert hall for Kristiansand in Norway is aimed at making maximum use of the spatial qualities of the site. Particularly its waterfront setting, the view from the hills over the city and the sea, the marked differences in elevation and a potential beacon function at the head of the former port area are seen as essential elements.
In the programme for the building, much attention is paid to clear access, optimum separation of public and support functions, a good routing in the public domain, a foyer that meets the requirement of multifunctional use and of course auditoria that are optimally suited to different types of use.
An important basic design criterion is the separation between a public and a general/technical services route. In concrete terms this means a design in which the public enters the building from the top, while access for artists, deliveries and personnel has been organised at the lower quay level.
Entering the theatre and concert hall from the top, at approximately 14 metres above the quay level, allows visitors to make their way through the building in a theatrical manner. This public deck represents an essential element in the organisation and structure of the building. The deck can be seen as a large folded floor that facilitates all the public functions. Thus the lowermost rows of seats in the theatre and the concert hall have been sunken into the floor while, in contrast, the foyer – with all its forms of multifunctional use – derives its form from the inverted shape of these auditoria.