Amare is the new Performing Arts Center in The Hague (NL): home of the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT), the Residentie Orkest, the Royal Conservatoire and the Amare Foundation. Optimally integrated into the city's urban plan, Amare is the soul of the cultural heart of The Hague. The building is an architectural eye-catcher with international allure, designed for the municipality of The Hague by NOAHH in collaboration with JCAU and NL Architects. A large part of Amare is accessible to the public and the building offers an unprecedented number of possibilities for the ways in which it can be used.
Amare has significant added value to the liveliness and versatile character of the city centre. It is an urban ensemble where activities can take place 24/7. The lower layers of the building form a fordable and welcoming passage through which everyone can move freely. Amare is designed as a 'Multiversum': an inviting, multifunctional, lively cultural and social space with streets, alleyways and squares nestled in-between large buildings. A visit of Amare gives the experience of zapping through cultural dimensions. In addition to the four large auditoriums, there are many smaller studios. What is unique about Amare is that students, professionals and public co-exist in one building. Internal connections between the domains of the Royal Conservatoire, the Residentie Orkest and NDT enable spontaneous interactions.
A graceful and compact building
The compact building has an understated yet confident design with an iconic, rhythmic facade. The natural continuity of the urban fabric has been achieved by opening the facade 'like a series of theatre curtains', with spacious passageways. The organically designed tree-branch structure is composed of prefabricated concrete elements. The vertical windows of the music studios and office spaces behind them run from floor to ceiling. As a result, there is good visual contact with the street and what is happening inside becomes visible outside.
Amare accommodates different worlds in one building thanks to a rich variety of materials and colours. Each auditorium has a particular, recognisable exterior finish. For example, the finish of the Dance Theatre is made from bamboo and the Concert Hall is enveloped in a gold-coloured metal plate. Surrounding the auditoriums are foyers with a corresponding atmosphere. The Dance Theatre's anthracite-black interior references the old Lucent Dance Hall. The many movable wall panels provide excellent variable acoustics for dance, speech and opera. The Concert Hall is predominantly classical in its design. The concrete wall finishes and gold-coloured sliding panels that regulate the acoustics are unique. Amare has world class acoustics thanks to Federico Cruz Barney from Studio DAP Paris.
Paragon of sustainability
Amare has been awarded a BREEAM Excellent certificate, which is a unique performance for a cultural building of this size and complexity. Regarding BREEAM, sustainable energy and technology is just as important as satisfaction, quality and user-friendliness. The roof is fully equipped with solar panels. The reuse of the existing underground parking garages is also a special feature. In addition to its future value, and building on what was already there, Amare is an ‘inclusive building’: a building that is accessible to literally everyone, so much so that there are even birdhouses and bat roost tucked snuggly between the branches of the facades.
Architects: NOAHH | Network Oriented Architecture
Photographers: Ossip van Duivenbode, Katja Effting
Other participants: JCAU, NL Architects, Bouwcombinatie Cadanz (Boele & van Eesteren | Visser & Smit Bouw), HOMIJ Technische Installaties, VolkerWessels Vastgoedbeheer, Aronsohn raadgevende ingenieurs, Féderico Cruz Barney | Studio DAP, Ingenieursburo Linssen, Theateradvies BV, LBP | Sight,Brunnontwerp, Studio Aziz Bekkaoui;
Facade columns: Westo
Concert hall cladding: Metadecor
Bamboo cladding interior: Harryvan
Wooden floors: Finesse
Doors: Tourniket: Boon Edam
Interior lighting: Homij
Interior: Harryvan, Gielissen, Intos, Van Keulen
Interior furniture: Interiorworks
Entrance mats: Emco
Theatre chairs: Mobelli Contract Seating