Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura designed a cultural building in Arahal, Seville, Spain, which effectivelly formulates a dialogue with the city, its history and the existing urban fabric. The building is an exciting addition to the city,  a shelter to the present triangular plaza – undeniably –  a key element of the Spanish urban reality and everyday life. Ultimately the theater aims to increase the occupation of the city’s central quarter. Its elegant yet understated aesthetic  gently interacts with the adjacent territory; a contemporary addition which respects and works together with the existing setting, in order to create a brand new environment.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Javier Terrados architects approached the design not only in terms of creating a sole building but by transforming and upgrading the surrounding territory; the theatre building belongs to the plaza and the plaza belongs to the building respectively.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

The Arahal Theater features a minimal external aesthetic being presented as a simple, abstract volumetric envelope. The building’s façade appears almost neutral, made by white stucco for the folded wall and glass and aluminium panes that provide various levels of transparency to the rest of the building.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

The exaggerated scale and design of the stage box, shapes a tower; thus it creates a new landmark for the city; an architectural icon.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

The building opens to the city through its lobby area, which is visually exposed to the plaza acting as an extension to the urban setting, yet it is protected by its wide cantilevered porch. The lobby is a large open area that comprises various public spaces. On this level the architects created a multipurpose hall, suitable to house exhibitions and public events, encouraging social interaction and human flow between the plaza and the interior. In that way, the space is conceived as being part of the existing plaza.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

The lobby area also includes a cafeteria, the wardrobe and public toilets, all of which are contained within a linear detached prism, resembling a solid piece of furniture, a sole composition. The interior materiality features oak board panelling, granite floors and polished stucco walls, evoking an effortlessly elegant and welcoming atmosphere for its visitors.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

The concert hall embraces the plot’s unique topography by way of arranging the seats along a one-story slope, providing good visibility for the theatre’s 425 audiences. The interior of the concert hall is cladded with oak panels generating a homogenous feel and a strong atmospheric ambiance. This wooden box that envelops the space eventually acts as a box within a box.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura design of the Arahal Theatre is heavily based on the principles of visibility and openness. The building boasts high visibility levels both at day and night, along the building to integrate with the city and people. During the day the wide glass opening allow visibility from the inside towards the city, while at night that auditorium’s intelligent lighting allows the internal auditorium to be lighted and the performances to become visible to the outside.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Through its form, materiality and lighting the building blurs the boundaries between the internal and external territories as enhances human flow between the enclosed spaces and the openness of the urban environment.

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Fernando Alda

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

Municipal Theatre at Arahal by Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

©Javier Terrados Estudio de Arquitectura

 

Words: Ivi Vassilopoulou

 

 


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