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Trans Architektuur, V+, Theater

White Glaze: Leietheater in Deinze by Trans Architektuur and V+

Deinze lies in the Belgian province of East Flanders and offers its nearly 44,000 inhabitants a noteworthy range of cultural activities. In the vicinity of the Museum van Deinze en de Leiestreek, or Mudel for short, the Leietheater now finds its home.

During the competition phase, the architects proposed a different location than what had been planned. Their idea was to use important angles of view in order to achieve greater dominance in the urban context. Moreover, the Mudel and the Leietheater benefit from each other. A new cultural centre has been created that enjoys a shared park. Marie-Josée van Hee Architecten provided the design for the landscape architecture.

The theatre building, which comprises white cubes and rectangles, stands amid the green. As is typical for contemporary theatres, the fly tower is easily visible from outside. The large areas of brick masonry are loosened somewhat by their subtle texture. As visitors look upwards, the detail of these surfaces gradually decreases. On the ground floor, a delicate post-and-lintel façade creates a connection between inside and out.

The lobby is a particular eye-catcher. Here, a monumental skylight opens above visitors’ heads. Its round shapes are bedecked with coarse-grained white plastering. The walls and stairways consist of weighty exposed concrete. A few wooden doors and balustrades add a touch of warmth to the otherwise cool ambience.

Colour accents appear throughout the building: a spiral staircase of red-lacquered metal stands by the toilets, and a red-painted ceiling looms over the seating in front of the performance hall.

The auditorium has been kept primarily in two shades. The stage equipment and seating are a deep black, which allows the wood cladding of the walls to stand out. Occasional spotlights have been arranged to make the most of the folded shape of the walls. On the steps, small luminaires enable guests to safely find their way even when the main lights have been doused.

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