Precision and grace in one

From Nørregade, you step off the pavement and directly into the world of theatre. A new foyer creates a striking impression with its welcoming design, and leads theatre-goers to Folketeatret’s three auditoriums.

Troldtekt, Folketeatret
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

Folketeatret can trace its roots back to 1848, since when it has been refurbished several times. However, its repertoire has always been a down-to-earth alternative to the performances at the Royal Danish Theatre. The most recent extensive refurbishment was carried out by Bertelsen & Scheving Arkitekter, an architectural practice specialising in the restoration and renovation of older buildings.

The theatre’s original foyer did not work properly as a connection between the street and the auditoriums, and the task was therefore to open up the foyer and create a better flow.  Through a few but radical measures, which saw the toilets, cloakroom and bar being moved to the sides of the space, an attractive and functional foyer was created. The foyer is now used for many more events thanks to its improved interior design and excellent acoustics, which are always the starting point for an inviting atmosphere.

History not ignored

Glass doors to the street allow daylight to illuminate the space, which otherwise has subdued lighting. The ceilings are clad with black Troldtekt acoustic panels, while the classic aesthetics of the main auditorium have inspired the rest of the foyer’s décor. The ceiling and wall cladding conceals technical installations, while also adding a strong sense of coherence to the foyer, which comprises two distinct sections. The wavy walls reach a climax with the sculptural staircase, which provides a focal point and access to the three auditoriums.

The new foyer, which was inaugurated in 2015, has recently been awarded a prize by the City of Copenhagen for being a ‘good and attractive’ building. The fine balance between the historical and the modern elements, between the axial and the asymmetric, between the stringent and the playful has been precisely executed and creates the sense of a contemporary theatre.