artistic living room
new nineteenth century Tilburg
Theater de NWE Vorst, Tilburg
Theatre De Vorst is housed in an eclectic nineteenth-century premises: a national monument in the centre of Tilburg. It appeared that the building was in a dilapidated state and a demolition was taken into consideration, but theatre De Vorst definitely wanted to remain in the building.
The streets in the ancient part of Tilburg are narrow and the structure of the city is fine-grained. The building environment of the theatre is mainly nineteenth-century, with in between a great deal of new development.
Atelier PRO has restored this building, has re-equipped it in the distinguished nineteenth-century atmosphere, and has extended it with new build that was inconspicuously added to the building. Thus it has become a large urban building providing an attractive and representative resonance: a cultural centre.
Theatre De NWE Vorst uses the building intensively: a place where numerous performances are staged and where people can have dinner, attend workshops and also enjoy a drink.
During the alteration, the main purpose was to retain the former structure and to bring back this structure as much as possible.
The facades have been restored. The soft cream-coloured plaster, natural stone plinth and the rich details have been repaired. Inside, particularly the parts accessible for the audience were designed in an attractive and refined way. The foyer, the restaurant, the bar, the corridors and the stairs: these are the places were people meet each other. Every room has its own character and atmosphere. The offices, depositories and technical rooms have been concealed skilfully to make sure that the audience area could take a prominent place.
The new and altered parts have not been copied blindly from the nineteenth century. The past has been re-designed with a modern approach, using contemporary materials and forms. We did not try to accentuate the differences between the present and the past. On the contrary: the design aims to seek balance and coherence. The entire building exudes the atmosphere of the nineteenth century, though provides an environment for contemporary forms of art and activities.