Much more than theatre

The new Vendsyssel Theatre and Experience Center is situated next to the railway station in Hjørring, only a few hundred metres from its predecessor. It has a simple yet dynamic exterior with significant signal effect, which is emphasised by the rust-red steel façades.

Troldtekt, Vendsyssel Theatre
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

The back of the complex is clad in stained, tempered glass, which is illuminated from inside the building at night. With its large window sections overlooking the street and the forecourt, the building has a welcoming feel, and there is close contact between inside and out.

The high-ceilinged foyer is beautifully arranged to cater for the mix of different functions. Ticket sales, café, restaurant and lounge are located like islands gathered in a square, which extends around the large semi-circular auditorium with seating for 450 people. It is a varied environment, which makes you immediately feel welcome. The ‘square’ connects the five different auditoriums, which allow the theatre to host a wide range of cultural events.

Meeting of contrasts

Even though there is always a lot happening at the Vendsyssel Theatre and Experience Centre, schmidt hammer lassen architects has successfully created a sense of aesthetic calm. Striking the right balance between popular and highbrow culture is often a challenge, but it has been successfully achieved here through a very conscious choice of materials and an informal interior design.

Throughout, it alternates between the raw and the refined. The interior of the main theatre auditorium is completely black, while the concert hall is light and elegant. The black colour is also prominent – although by no means dominant – in the foyer areas, where it has a unifying effect. Here, it includes black-painted Troldtekt acoustic panels as a beautiful – and acoustic – element in the composition. Troldtekt panels are also used in, for example, the administration offices on the first floor, and to clad the wall surfaces in the rehearsal room, which also doubles as a children’s theatre.