Performing arts facility

The Hague, Netherlands


The new Music and Dance Centre will be the hub of cultural, intellectual, and social life in The Hague. It will merge the public realm and a community of artists and students within a lyrical, state of the art building that turns theater planning conventions inside-out and upside-down. XYZ replaces the conventional ground-floor lobby with an elevated horizontal landscape, the “Super-lobby” (X,Y axes), which serves all performance venues. The Superlobby acts as a public plaza, social hub, serendipitous meeting place, cafeteria, impromptu rehearsal space and alternative performance space. The structure’s multiple performance venues are stacked above and below the Superlobby such that their back-stages and technical support spaces all hinge at a central void. This vertical technical atrium, the “Tectrium” (Y,Z axes), acts as a common backstage that inverts the theater experience, revealing back-of-house activities as public spectacle. The theater venues are designed as independent elements expressed in warm wood finishes, clearly visible behind the transparent building envelope. The elegant forms of the theater performance venues, embraced by supple slabs and setoff by the horizontal and vertical voids, will be a wholly new image for the city and one that bridges the divide between interior and exterior, form and experience, back of house and front of house. In collaboration with Solid Objectives-Idenburg Liu.

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