The interior of the old Lutheran Church, dating from 1793, on the Kloveniersburgwal evokes a sense of spaciousness, echoing the past.
When avant-garde theatre company, De Trust, was given the opportunity to convert the building into a theatre, the idea emerged that the walls and columns should be left to tell their own tale and be encroached on as little as possible. In a manner of speaking, De Trust is only there as a guest.
A double colonnade lined with Tuscan columns shapes the church’s interior. At the height of the first colonnade a new theatre floor is placed in the enormous space creating unbroken sight lines and acoustics. A new freestanding installation exists in place of where the church organ once sat.
On each level this insertion takes a different form based on its function, serving as a staircase or bar and kitchen. In the auditorium the insertion gives space to the staging room and on the highest level to the theatrical installations.
Painted blood red on the outside and gold on the inside, the insertion provides a thematic narrative throughout the building, linking both spaces and functions. Chandeliers hint at the traditional ‘fourth wall’ theatre, the bonbonnière.
The result is a building where the essentials of architecture are achieved through efficient spatial organisation, colour, light and atmosphere. It is an adaptable building - a space in continuous change.
Size: 2,700 m2
Status: Completed 1995 - 1996
Address: Kloveniersburgwal 50, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Programme: Adaptive re-use of a former Lutheran church into a theater.