The Kaaitheater is a forward-looking venue for theatre, dance and performance in Brussels, housed in a 1930 building right next to the new Kanal museum for contemporary art. The new project aims to improve the existing big hall, to add a second small Blackbox theater and production/rehearsal spaces, and to rethink the relationship with the city around.
The proposal of Ouest and Bruther opens up the complete ground floor in a fluid and public continuum, with 2 ‘faces’ of a different character towards the boulevard and the canal. In the main hall, some precise interventions improve the technical aspects, as well as the intimate relation between the public and the stage. Next to the canal, a precise new volume is inserted, with a clear structure of superposed open floors and a transparent façade. The productive functions are organized in the bottom section, creating a new and surprising interaction with the urban canal landscape and new scenographic possibilities. The second layer consists of the blackbox theater, surrounded by the artist spaces and public circulation as a balcony to the city. The last layer is a double-height working space for the theater team and their creative partners. The new volume is designed as a generous and flexible infrastructure, adding new qualities and dimensions to the existing theater spaces.
status: Competition – second place
program: Refurbishment and extension of theater
area: 5.500 m² (new programs : 3.700m² / existing : 1.800m²
location: Brussels, Belgium
client : Kaaitheater
staff : OUEST ARCHITECTURE + BRUTHER
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