Agora Theatre in Lelystad
With the Agora Theatre, UNStudio have completed one of the first buildings within West 8’s new central plan for Lelystad. The architects have designed a multi-coloured light crystal with a complexly folded exterior envelope that incorporates the fly tower.
The facade, which is made of smooth metal plates, profiled sheeting with standing seams and perforated plates, shifts in colour from red to orange to yellow. The orange cladding extends to the entrance area, where the colour scheme changes to hot pink and white. The main staircase encloses a large vertical space leading to the two upper levels of the narrowing foyer, which is illuminated during the day by the generous roof glazing. The dynamic feel of the interior space is enhanced by numerous inclined planes.
The 750 seats and the wall and ceiling surfaces of the large theatre space present themselves in a luminous red. The technical areas are integrated in such a way that they cannot be seen from the stalls or the dress circle.
In contrast to the main auditorium, the smaller theatre (with 250 seats) on the second floor has the feel of a studio. Immediately adjacent to it are three multi-functional spaces, so that smaller conventions can take place on the upper storey. Over the entrance of the theatre lies the artists’ foyer, where the actors can view their audience through an inclined glass facade before the performance begins.
The theatre’s administrative staff, however, had to sacrifice their view as a concession to the unified appearance of the Agora’s exterior facade: their windows have been clad from the outside in perforated plates for purposes of camouflage.