The emblematic history of Heidelberg is both reflected and inversed in the renovation and addition to this existing 5,500 square meter (59,000 square feet) performing arts space. A dual layer façade consisting of glass behind a metal panel system wraps the mass of the 8,000 square meter (86,000 square feet) addition which expands into the available space of its surroundings. The volume of the 550-seat main stage theater floats above the entry and lobby. Voids in the metal panels reveal fluorescent neon tubes, which comprise a dynamic display of the theater’s program, activating the 3-dimensional surface pattern.
The deliberate application of modern technologies represents a diversion from Heidelberg’s ancient roots in the history of archaeology, philosophy, art and literature, and, simultaneously, a look into the multiple dimensions and layers of the city’s background.
Once in the lobby, the visitor is allowed visual access to the theater support program and the orchestra pit, which are typically hidden from public view. Inside the performance space, the wall surface is mapped with a traditional romantic landscape, which engages the audience in the transitory nature of performance while acknowledging the longevity of art in the context of Heidelberg’s Romantic tradition.