In Ingolstadt, the new Intimate Theatre is being built in direct proximity to the prominent City Theatre. This theatre venue, with rehearsal stages and theatre workshops, will supplement the existing theatre building to form an ensemble. The City Theatre, designed by Hardt-Waltherr Hämer and Marie Brigitte Hämer-Buro, was based on the idea of a “little city next to the city” and this idea will be systematically continued in the new development. The new ensemble with its Intimate Theatre, workshops and the City Theatre is deliberately oriented towards the Danube, thereby reviving the original design idea of the architects of the City Theatre, which was part of the original competition design but, in the course of the design process, had to be abandoned in favour of an orientation towards the city. The main facade, entrance, public spaces and outside terraces of the Intimate Theatre face the Danube as well as the Theatre Square with the City Theatre. The Intimate Theatre enhances the vision for a city on the Danube, and the urban design function of the Theatre Square is further reinforced and enlivened as a focal point of the city – City Theatre and Donauspiele.
RIBBON OF FOYERS – CITY ON THE DANUBE
The Intimate Theatre building is located to the west of the City Theatre in the area of the sculpture garden. The workshops will form an extension to the City Theatre to the south. The complex of buildings of the City Theatre was built as a freestanding ensemble outside the actual city and had a style-defining effect on the design of post-war theatres; together with the Neue Schloss nearby, it is a dominant feature on the banks of the Danube. The Intimate Theatre has deliberately been placed apart, thus moving the space of the Theatre Square between the buildings into focus. The two sculpturally designed volumes stand out distinctly in front of the silhouette of the old city and, as an ensemble, create multiple relationships with their surroundings. The result is a “landscape of buildings” that picks up the scale and lines of the Schloss and Herzogskasten in a new interpretation. In spite of the tangible references to “the big sister”, the Intimate Theatre very much retains its own personality in every detail in this cultural ensemble. In this way, the new cultural centre of the city confidently takes its place next to the symbols of the medieval polis, Herzogskasten and Herzogsschloß. Just like the City Theatre, the polygonal shape of the development is reminiscent of medieval towns, with their street layouts, squares, scale and lines. The angles of the building form open spaces and narrow passes on the Theatre Square, which in turn open new spaces towards the Danube. Within the building, the same pattern of spatial formation is continued in the foyer and intermediate zones.
The foyer of the new venue opens towards both the Danube and the Theatre Square. Together with the foyer of the City Theatre, it forms a ribbon of foyers, including the Theatre Square as a theatrical urban space between the two buildings.
A MODERN CITY HYBRID – A PLACE OF ART AND COMMUNICATION FOR THE CITY
The design for the Intimate Theatre focuses on the creation of a place of art and communication for the city and on creating an opening for international theatre languages. As a modern city hybrid, the new building functions as both a venue for theatre performances and as a multi-faceted place of communication for a broad range of social groups. Together with the City Theatre, it forms the new cultural centre of Ingolstadt. The design of the Intimate Theatre is fully multi-functional. A wide range of functions can be accommodated, including exhibitions in the foyer, concerts, congresses etc. The new Intimate Theatre creates an open-air stage on the Theatre Square, facing the Danube, which provides the opportunity to stage open-air performances.
INTERPRETIVE THEATRE – PLACE OF TRANSFORMATION
The real core and power centre of the Intimate Theatre is the auditorium itself. It is a multi-functional space and allows for all genres of contemporary performance, from amphitheatre to total theatre. In the interim, a picture stage can remain installed for music and dance performances. It is, however, possible to transform the classic division between picture stage and spectators without difficulty. The space can be converted to suit various kinds of spectator constellations. This is made possible by the generally flexible design of the stage technology and the modular telescopic platforms for differentiating the spectator space.
The largest rehearsal stage backs on to the main stage and can be included in this. The foyer forms a flowing transition between the exterior and the auditorium, and can be used as a place to stage performances. The building can be interpreted and transformed in many ways, because theatre is brought to life by glamour, light, suspense and a spirit of enjoyment that radiate out towards the city.
blauraum – founded 2002 in Hamburg, Germany- is a company offering the full range from conceptual planning to realization of buildings, as well as implementing all measures of urban planning development.
While focusing on the conceptual and technical challenges incorporating the variety of strategies in the daily practice of architecture, the main objective remains the initial concept, the origin of every planning. Central to blauraum's every planning process is the closest possible transference of the original architectural concept, starting from the draft on paper as well as the virtual rendering on screen into the finalized, materialized object.
Prof. Rüdiger Ebel
Prof. Volker Halbach