Theater Het Speelhuis Helmond

Location: Helmond, Nederland
Surface: 2,150 m2
Activities: interior design, Concept Design up and untill Technical design, tender documents, environmental permit, aesthetic implementation guidance, project management
Project completion: 2017
Photography: Wouter van der Sar, Bart van Hoek
The Helmond theater has found shelter in the former Onze Lieve Vrouwe Kerk.
A new pavilion, designed by Van Dongen Kosuch architects, embraces the church. Due to the transparent and horizontal character of the pavilion, the historic building remains clearly visible and will function as a backdrop. The exterior of the church becomes the interior of the foyer and offers a natural interplay between outside and inside, openness, transparency, and identity. The total interior assignment includes the entrance with reception, cloakroom, foyers with bar and distribution areas, various multifunctional rooms and dressing rooms in the pavilion and the dining area in the Rectory Room.

The main entrance to the theater is located on Speelhuisplein. The reception desk welcomes visitors and allows them to nod so that they can see the entire space upon entering.
The multifunctional foyer is equipped with a grid for theater lamps, a stage and movable furniture, but clear ‘spots’ have been created. Despite the beauty of the open space, people always look for shelter, wooden floor surfaces have brought warmth and differentiation to the space. There are also subtle references to the church, such as the candle-shaped lamps. The natural materials you find in a church are also used for the interior. They are durable materials that age beautifully, such as wood, concrete and blue steel.

Where the minimalist architecture did not provide space to integrate the installations, a solution was sought in the furniture: air conditioning grilles were installed in the reception desk and in the cupboard near the stairs to the cloakroom. Sober colors have been used and a lot of attention has been paid to the quality of the lighting. A visit to the theater usually takes place in the evening, and thanks to the glass facade, beautiful effects can be achieved with lighting. The reception desk is extra lit and attracts attention with a ‘halo’ of 135 LED lamps. The basic lighting has also been given a theatrical look.

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