The Bühne im Hof is a theatre situated in the old part of St. Pölten, the capital of Lower-Austria. It was extended on an adjacent plot and enlarged by a foyer, which can serve as a separate theatre room. This extension also includes offices and additional storage facilities.
The building is set back from the boundary, creating a small forecourt which serves as a second entrance to the theatre. The forecourt is divided into covered and uncovered areas which can be used as meeting space, outdoor dining area or simply as a buffer to the adjacent parking lot.
As the visitor enters the foyer from the forecourt he passes a small vestibule glazed on two sides. The foyer includes a bar and a gallery. Two big roof lights give the double volume space the character of an atrium. The ground floor also contains a kitchen for gastronomy, storage rooms, as well as a ticket booth opening up to the forecourt. A new side stage is attached to the existing stage and is connected by a haul-off platform to the depot in the basement.
The first floor contains offices and a conference room with a large terrace in front.
The narrowness of the property is met with spatial complexity. Spaces merge into each other and with the exterior space. Details and material step back in favour of perception of space.
The volumes of the foyer and the offices intersect vertically which ensures optimal natural lighting for both functions. This results in several folded roofs of varying heights, their scale relating back to the roofs of the surrounding area. These folded roofs create a dynamic space in the foyer and make the interior space reach out to the forecourt and the city.
In the existing theatre the stage and the auditorium are painted black. Subsequently, attention focuses on the actors, highlighted by technical theatre equipment.
The newly erected foyer reverses this relationship. The walls are painted white; attention focuses on the audience. The break in between play becomes their performance.
Design: SOLID architecture
in collaboration with: pfeil architekten ZT
Site Area: 472 m2
Floor Area: 640 m²
Building Costs: 1,50 Mio. €
Competition 1.st prize, Oktober 2002
Start of construction works: Dezember 2003
Opening: September 2004