Theatre de Stoep in Spijkenisse

Theatre de Stoep in Spijkenisse

Spijkenisse, Netherlands | View Map
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A. de Jong Groep

De Blaay - Van den Boogaard
©Jan Paul Mioulet

Theatre de Stoep in Spijkenisse

UNStudio as Architects

UNStudio’s design for Theatre responds to the current cultural invigoration of the city by merging the archetypal function of a theatre - that of creating a world of illusion and enchantment - with the specific requirements of a regional theatre and its requisite to cater to the varied needs of the local community. The theatre is therefore designed with a dual emphasis on the chimeric nature of the world of the stage and the social aspects of the theatre experience.

Ben van Berkel: “In contrast to today’s mediatised culture, theatre offers the participatory experience of the live event, often appropriately referred to as ‘liveliness’: the ‘magic of live theatre’, understood as the strange, elusive energy between audience and performer, the community forged together and the momentary collaboration necessitated by the live event.”

Theatre de Stoep is designed to fortify and inspire this liveliness, providing at one and the same time a place of performance, of social gathering and of experiencing contrasting realities: the world of the other, of fabrication, of expression and display, but simultaneously the very real sentient experience of ourselves as spectators within these worlds.

In the design of the 5,800 m2 building a larger and a smaller theatrical space (with the main auditorium seating up to 650 guests and the smaller hall accommodating 200), several interlinked foyers, a grand café and a restaurant, an artist’s café, a VIP lounge, numerous dressing rooms, multifunctional rooms and offices are all brought together within one volume. The placement of the various internal volumes results in a building in the form of a flower, with a large, column-free central foyer forming the heart of the structure.

Vertical foyer Ben van Berkel: “The vertical foyer becomes a pivotal point in the social functioning of the theatre, a ‘stage’ for the visitors and a dynamic focal point surrounded by viewpoints on different levels.”

Furthermore, the foyer serves to organise wayfinding and the linking of the different programmes within the building. From the main foyer, a sculptural stairway forms the binding element towards the entrances to the auditoria, while the handrail of the stairway seamlessly molds itself into functional surfaces and furniture elements.

Auditoria and acoustics Theatre de Stoep hosts a wide variety of performance types, including plays, opera, cabaret, musicals, concerts, youth theatre and dance performances. As such, versatility in the acoustic properties of the theatre spaces is paramount. The recent rapid development of the software used to control acoustics made it possible to engineer and optimise the sound quality within the auditoria. Thus the ceiling elements can be lowered and angled to adjust volume levels when required, while the acoustic wall panels reflect and increase the quality of the sound for every seat in the auditorium.

Light and colour Light and colour play an essential role in the experience of the theatre, not only in the auditoria and for productions, but also for setting the scene, the atmosphere and the mood in the public foyers. During the day the lower glass portion of the facade enables daylight penetration directly from both the front of the theatre and from above, throwing daylight deep into the foyer and above the stairs leading to the auditoria. In the evening a warm and inviting atmosphere is created through the use of both colour and artificial lighting.

Above the glazed lower levels of the facade, the upper portion comprises two layers of aluminium, Glimpses of the purple coloured back layer can be seen through circular perforations in the outer white panels, with LED lights fitted between the two facade layers to light the building in the evenings.

Integration and attainability Unique to the location is its connection with the water and the view to the nearby windmill, ‘Nooitgedacht’. The building volume is rounded so as to ensure as little wind flow disturbance to this nearby mill.

Although the demands of the regional theatre are many and varied, ways must be found to balance design ambitions with affordability. One means by which it was possible to save significant costs on construction was through the use of Design Information Modelling (DIM): a knowledge integrated performance driven design methodology employed during the design phases which affords the unique opportunity to test and to model spaces swiftly and in an integrated fashion.

In the early stages of the project UNStudio worked with Arup on Clash detections to ensure that all three dimensional details where recognised and researched on repetition and buildability. The step from Design information modelling (DIM) to Building information modelling (BIM) was made after tendering the main contractor VORM Bouw. The final BIM model was developed from the DIM model by IOB in close collaboration with the contractor to ensure an important reduction of the adjustment costs and micro control of the detailed costs. The client, the City of Spijkenisse, played a crucial and important role in requesting the full DIM/BIM design process and the full BIM model will be used for the maintenance and management of the theatre in the future.

New theatre in Spijkenisse

ARUP as Engineers

On 9 October the new theatre 'De Stoep' in Spijkenisse opens the doors officially. The design, which came about in close collaboration between architect UNStudio and Arup, fits seamlessly in the urban surroundings. The internal organisation and the circuit of functions has been designed around the flow of visitors. A strong connection is made between inside and outside. Arup helped to facilitate the organisation layout and complex geometry by the use of Building Environment Modelling (BEM), enabling an integrated structural, lighting and building services design. The result is a remarkable building with an inviting and open character. The new building in the city centre offers a large auditorium with 650 seats and a small multifunctional space with up to 200 seats.

Theatre de Stoep Spijkenisse

A. de Jong Groep as Manufacturers


The project includes the new construction of Theatre de Stoep on the theatre square in Spijkenisse. Every theatre technical aspect can be included, so that it's possible to program all theatre disciplines. The cultural building is also equipped catering facility and includes office spaces. The design by Ben van Berkel (UNStudio) has style and is an eye-catcher. The new theatre can be described as an icon of the city and is a significant contribution to the vitality of Spijkenisse.


The supply, installation / engineering and operational handover of the mechanical and sanitary facilities, consisting of heat, gas, mechanical ventilation, cooling and control systems (including the necessary accessories and associated activities such as zinc works).

Realized systems:  Central heating with underfloor heating  Air handling unit with heat recovery  Five air handling units  Firefighting Equipment  WKO Installation  VAV systems  Sanitary installations  Mechanical Ventilation systems  Measurement and control installations

Principles / details / characteristics:

BIM (Building Information Model)

The construction of Theatre De Stoep was a special project. The project can be seen as a technical challenge, because nothing is the same in the new theatre of Spijkenisse. A lot of time and effort was especially put into the realization of the complexity of the shape. To make the construction of Theatre De Stoep Spijkenisse possible, it was required to work inside a BIM model. BIM is a work methodology whereby a integral collaboration is arranged between various disciplines in the construction industry to work together inside a 3-dimensional Building Information Model (BIM). During this project, nearly 70 companies collaborated inside this 3D computer program. Within A. de Jong Installatietechniek we are familiar with this new way of working. For months the major parties worked together in one conference room, the BIM Coordinator gave the lead. Because of this intensive collaboration, we were able to effectively watch if everything went according to the plans and drawings. There were many clashes observed. For example, we decided to handle the entire heating and cooling system differently. Cooperation with the other parties was successful and we provided the client with sustainable facilities.

Theatre “De Stoep” Spijkenise

De Blaay - Van den Boogaard as Engineers

Role of De Blaay-Van den Bogaard Consulting Engineers during the execution phase of Theatre “De Stoep” Spijkenise

In this spectacular project, designed by UNStudio, our company had a consulting role during the detailed engineering, execution, commissioning and hand-over procedure phases.

Based on the contract documents the complete mechanical, electrical and sanitary installations have been designed in cooperation with the several main- and subcontractors.

During the detail-enineering phase several changes have been made in the installation principles, such as the heating and cooling production which is changed from traditional boilers and chillers into a connection on the existing next-door thermal storage system in the ground. Pay-back calculations were made to check the feasibility.

Because of the extraordinary shape of the building, it was important to have a good coordination between constructions and installations. For that reason a BIM modal was made, in which all disciplines have integrated their drawings.

The lighting has been changed into energy efficient LED fixtures, all switched and dimmed by a central control system.

Special attention was give to the air supply in the theatre which is performed by perforated chair-supports.

The pictures of the impressive air handling installation units and ducting give an impression from a completely different angle and show the importance of an integrated building design.

The warm and pleasant cooperation with all engineers and constructors during the execution process has been one of understanding each other’s field of expertise and has led to a high profile, functional and social building.

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