Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor AB
Jönköping , Sweden
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Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor AB as Architects

Småland’s Music and Theater is an answer to one thousand questions. Twisted as a spiral to catch the attention of the eye as well as the body; transparent, to turn every side into a front.; compact, to be efficient and sparse; meandering, to make the foyer an adventure; mystic, to create expectation. A theater is a creation made to move you. As you sit in your chair, the world around begins to change. The performance, may it be dance, theater or music, wakens the imagination. Time and space are no longer the same in body and mind. No building is capable of doing this of its own. But architecture may support the journey that the artists create. A public filled with a certain excitement already when entering the building, has already joined the ride. The merriment of architecture is seldom as outspoken as in the buildings for performing arts. The building shall prepare the spectator for the event, tune the spirit and create expectation. These are the main purposes of the foyer. The saloon is rather the opposite. Once the curtain is raised, the space shall disappear in order to promote the intimacy which is the aspiration for almost every director. These are the ambitions behind this venue. Småland’s Music and Theater in the city of Jönköping is a regional scene for music and theater in the southern part of Sweden. It is a culturally vivid part of the country, but the performing arts have not had a permanent stage so far. Our proposal is a result of a winning competition from 2005. The construction works for the new theater are now progressing, and the house will be inaugurated in year 2011. The building shares the ambition of bringing the visitor in the mood with most theaters. It is tall, expressive and controls the surroundings by the shore of Lake Munksjön. The communicative approach is enhanced by the semitransparent façade, on which current programs can be displayed. The bright and curved walls give the building an ephemeral character that relates to the arts that are being performed inside. The building is designed for rather small audiences, but in many different spaces. The concert hall seats 830, and a smaller theater is designed for 420 people. There is also a multistage and a café stage. All stages are on the same level, providing maximal accessibility for wheelchairs as well as transportations backstage. The characters vary from a deep green serenity of the largest saloon that resembles the mystical forests of local painter John Bauer (1882-1918), to the acoustical flexible structure of the multistage. The narrow but long foyer is a fluid space, all covered in pine, the local wood. It follows the curved line of the building and provides shifting views over the lake outside. The space ends with the café stage. In wintertime the warmth of the interior will make the building glow. In summertime, the foyer opens up to the terraces outside.

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