VAT_Varese New Apollonio Theater Competition
The city of Varese intends to renovate its most important square and part of the buildings on it. Among them, the existing theater is the main object of renovation: born as a temporary structure, it isn’t fitting the contemporary requirement for productions and the needs of a new icon in the city centre
Our main concept is to rotate the theater hall and extend the foyer towards the today’s back of the theater, in order to activate those areas, bring social control, turning semi-abandoned areas and parking lots in new small pleasant squares.
The main entrance is highlight by a concrete “curtain”, for us a necessary element to close the square on that side, following the existing buildings’ height and orientation. This “curtain” has a twin facing the small squares.
The main hall has a semi-cycle shape so, while maximizing the capacity, we can have a better acoustic, visibility and a compact room, avoiding far seats [the maximum distance from the stage is 10 mt less than in a normal seats disposition]. This particular shape offers another advantage: the proscenium is larger than conventional, giving the chance to guest different typologies of show. The hall is combined with a conference room. This room, thanks to moving partition walls, can be divided from the main hall to guest other activities.
Dressing and rehearsal rooms are above the main hall because the city of Varese looks at a beautiful alpine profile, while normally they are hiding in no-window narrow alley. We want also this floor to be rent-out to other activities not strictly related to the theater, to increase the opening hours and the incomes.
The residential and commercial blocks on the square’s south side is where the private investors can participate to sustain financially the theater and square renovation. The two blocks are distributed on triangular shapes to catch the maximum amount of morning light and open a small protected square between them.