Opera in Kristiansund
The New Opera and culture house amalgamates opera, library, school, cultural facilities, and youth center. The complex represents culture in its most pervasive and innovative form. To create spaces for the unexpected, spaces to inspire us, spaces where the collective and individual can coexist, to inspire experimentation, invention, heterogeneity and freedom is to liberate culture.
There are already two significant buildings on the site – a 19th century school building and an early 20th century Folkets Hus (People’s House). To engulf them by a third larger building would diminish their integrity. The design strategy creates a porous cultural compound of three very different free standing buildings that are autonomous yet connected. The two existing buildings will be fully refurbished and filled with a host of new activities. A ribbon-like glass bridge that doubles as exhibition gallery connects the library in the Folkets Hus to the main foyer of the new building. The school building will contain youth cultural activities. An underground passage will link it to the stage level of the new auditorium.
RED CARPET Inside the new building the public circulation route serves as collective space open for an array of speculative activities. A procession of movement from entry to restaurant, via the red carpeted circuit that weaves it way through the building, reveals at once both the rich interior setting and views of Kristiansund.
THE HALL The objective for the auditorium is simple: allow for the greatest number of guests to be as close as possible to the stage. From the stage, the performers will see an ocean of people, wall-to-wall. The multi-purpose hall, driven by the demand for flexibility, is often the victim to the paradoxes of big- small, invisible-exposed, functional-beautiful. The design of this hall is one were flexibility exists without succumbing to the generic.
ROOM WITH A VIEW On the top floor of the new building restaurant, canteen and orchestra rehearsal room can be combined to create a very large room with spectacular views. An expansive exterior terrace adds greater flexibility in a setting where different scenarios, be they planned, impromptu, or incidental can occur.
FACADE The façade of the new building is curtain-like, selectively revealing the activities within. From the exterior, the perception is of a soft dress, covered in small reflective sequins, shimmering, constantly changing, and flowing. From the inside, the lighting varies from translucent to transparent, providing an even light throughout the building.