Art & Architecture + [Theatre]

Manama, Bahrein: National Theatre of Bahrain by Architecture Studio
Architecture Studio

Manama’s stint as Arab Capital of Culture in 2012 raised excitement with one of its flagship cultural projects - Bahrain National Theatre. Located adjacent to the National Museum on the Al Fateh Corniche in Manama, an opening was held on 12 November 2012 to also coincide with the king’s birthday.

Architecture Studio

The national theatre is designed to be at the meeting point between the land and the sea. the design of the Bahrain National Theatre was inspired by the horizontal seascape of Bahrain and the poetry of its name, “Two Seas”. It reflects the serenity of Bahrain’s landscape where the sea and the land meet in graceful harmony.

Architecture Studio

The golden shell is anchored in the earth, while the light canopy is floating over the water. It harmoniously complements the site of the National Museum, thus setting a cohesive cultural district. the main feature of the building is a stretched horizontal canopy from which emerges the main auditorium, as an island.

Architecture Studio

The canopy is a woven aluminium structure that shades the building and its large apron overlooking the lagoon. the play of light and shadow created by the canopy echoes the glittering surface of the sea. the design of the canopy is very modern but in the same time inspired from the traditional woven ceilings that one can see in the beautiful heritage houses of Bahrain.

Architecture Studio

The main auditorium is a focus point for the whole site: a golden shell that represents the inner world of the theatre. the golden shell is designed as a singular sculptured object, both mysterious and attractive. the National Theatre of Bahrain has been designed on modern lines and will seat 1,000 people. There will also be another multi-purpose theatre hall that will accommodate 300.

Architecture Studio

The main auditorium will be intimate and has been specifically designed to enhance the actor-audience relationship, a key contributor to the experience of live theatre. the stage is designed to accommodate all activities related to music and theatre including an orchestra of up to 60 musicians. All the audience seats are identical and the chairs in the front rows can be lowered to enlarge the stage.

Architecture Studio

The theatre is truly multi-functional due to a hydraulic system, designed by theatre equipment specialists Multi-stage. the orchestra pit is on a hydraulic lift, so a structure of either 4,800m² or 8,500m² is revealed when the first four rows of seats descend into the hall’s complex basement. Alternatively, these levels can be automatically elevated to provide a projecting stage.

Architecture Studio

The main auditorium is designed internally as one continuous volume smoothly curved to provide ideal acoustics and stage vision. It integrates the two balconies and the ceiling in an organic shape that contrasts with the orthogonal geometry of the foyer and the rectangular horizontal canopy. the auditorium internal volume is made of wood, a warm and noble material, shaped and mounted as for a boat, reinterpreting in a modern expression, the Bahraini historical 'know how' in boat construction.

Architecture Studio

Media-friendly: the building is very media-focused, and has the infrastructure to broadcast performances to far larger audiences. A number of media service ways and competing components are neatly disguised beneath its sweeping façade. Proscenium: the proscenium opening is 19,000m x 10,500m. This large stage opening for multiple performers can be adapted both visibly and acoustically. Performance can be reduced to a third should a single person take centre stage.

Architecture Studio

Acoustics: Design of the building envelope excludes all external noise; the internal plant is separated and heavily attenuated from performance areas; and acoustic clarity is enhanced through the final detail of the internal finishes to the auditorium and stage. Heavy acoustic curtains incorporated into the multi-layer walls can be extended or retracted to adjust the acoustics according to requirements, and the fly tower and overhead gantries ensure multiple scenery sets can be changed within minutes.

Architecture Studio
Architecture Studio
Architecture Studio
Architecture Studio
Architecture Studio
Architecture Studio

Location: Manama, Bahrain Architect: Architecture-Studio Interior design: Architecture-Studio Design development: Architecture-Studio and Setec Bâtiment Detailed design: Atkins Lighting design: L’Observatoire 8’18’’ Acoustics: Xu-Acoustique Main contractor: Cybroc Mep contractor: Emco Wll Audio visual: Telmaco Stone contractor: Italian Products Co. Woodwork contractor: Al Yusuf Façade and aluminium contractor: Arcal Year: 2013

7.6/10 (358)
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Manama, Bahrein: National Theatre of Bahrain by Architecture Studio {Theatre}