HQ Architects has been commissioned by the city of Netanya and the Netanya Development and Tourism Company to design the new Cultural Center in the city of Netanya, north Israel. The new Cultural Center will seat in a focal urban spot, located right next to Kvish Ha'hof – the main regional highway that crosses Netanya – and across the Netanya Stadium.
The Netanya Cultural Center sits in a generous urban plot of 22,500 square meters, which was originally intended to hold a sports arena. Our winning proposal will feature a 10,000 square meters design, developing a round-shaped cultural concept that leaves a generous amount of external space intended for other peripheral uses and landscaping. The building will incorporate a wide range of different spaces dedicated to performance, including a 950 seats auditorium, a 250 seats Blackbox theatre, a 400 seat roof theatre, and an approximate 50-100 seat fringe theatre. Also, it will include a main lobby, a community center, offices, and two restaurants.
Our key design principle was to keep the building's footprint as small as possible, stretching the building vertically and making it visible from the highway. This is in contrast to a common approach in cultural building design, which tends to spread on the plot’s surface. The center’s functions are stacked, with the main auditorium at the bottom, and its ceiling being the lobby floor and the main entrance. The Black box theater, gallery, and some community center functions will be placed on the first floor, whereas offices and the community center will be on the 2nd floor, leaving the VIP room, fringe theatre and the cafe on the 3rd floor, which also provides access to the roof theater. All backstage functions, including the performers’ areas, stage support and loading docks, will be placed underground, enabling a small footprint above. The building will be surrounded by a wide forest-like park, featuring cafe space, pavilions, paths, and a patio right next to the main building. The design also features a boardwalk connection to the surrounding office buildings, aiming to enhance the connection of the cultural center with the existing urban fabric.