This proposal for the National theater complex in Sibiu Romania serves as a new beacon for the patrons of the city and an international audience it seeks to entertain by paying homage to the vernacular forms of Sibiu's roofscapes and medieval strongholds as well as to Romania's fractured cultural and ethnic past. Creating a portal from the historic core of Old Sibiu, the project driver stems from a tunnel of cultural memory, burying down from the historic core and emerging within a new community atrium and public performance space at the heart of the new theater complex. The main performance chambers of the theaters act as guardians to this new internal court. Overall, the buildings tectonic expression creates the image of a new bastion and protector of the Germanic and Romanian cultrual arts.
FINAL MODEL 1:1000 SCALE: 3D Printed Powder, Laminated Museum Board
Situated within the Transylvanian Alps, Sibiu historically was one of the original Seven Fortified German cities during the Middle Ages. The site for the theater complex is intended to be located just outside and in direct view of the historical fortified walls that originally protected the small German town. As is customary with many towns of the period, tectonically spaces and buildings became an expression of courtyard dwelling types, with sting lithic fortified exteriors to protect the cultural interior from invasion both at the macro and meso scale. In addition to taking note of the site and its surrounding conditions, the courtyard typology become especially pertinent in analyzing the auxiliary festival sites of similar magnitude to Sibiu, where the cultural centers or home bases for the festivals typically reside within large fortified courtyard buildings, such as Bran Castle or the Castle of Avignon. Thus exploring the idea of a court centered building became analogous with both historic building conditions but also virtual festival conditons as well.
Realizing the importance to tether the historic core to the site, the manner in which that was to be achieved and to what end was the main driver of the proposal early on. In further investigating the tumultuous history of the place, in which Romania was occupied historically by Germans, native Romanians and then eventually occupied by Ottoman and Soviet political rule, the relationship of performance to public identity was strongly correlated as ways to express the misgivings each "foreign" occupant gave to the citizens at their respective times. Thus the narrative of creating a portal from history to a projected future and tunneling under the historical walls to relive those past narratives and the role of performance spaces in creating said narratives became the crux of the project and tying in to the explorations of the courtyard typology.
PUBLIC PROCESSION SEQUENCE: THE PLAZA, TUNNEL OF MEMORY, INTERNAL COURT, PERFORMANCE CHAMBER
Organizationally the theater complex is framed via a layering of program type from north to South, with the theater front of house activities, such as gift shop, information and resource areas, cafes, public gathering, marquee and the like frame the northern face occupying the site most engaged with the public realm and the historic plaza walls. Situated in the center of the complex and framing the interior court, rest the primary theater halls, 2 in traditional proscenium style, and the the third a flexible black box style. The back of house functions, which include workshops, set assembly, tech and recording stations, archival center, offices, and rehearsal spaces occupy the southern site which are efficiently stacked in volume. A series of distributed mechanical and service cores act as independent scattered objects that allow service and support to zone the building in terms of systems and power usage, which frame around the main performance halls. Additional elements of program, which called for athletic style facilities and residency rooms were chosen to be situated in a tower at the northwest of the site. The reasoning was to allow for more space in the interior court by making the area required for this program to be more stacked in nature, but also linked the building tectonically to the surrounding context where additional tower structures occupy West of the site.
The proposals material expression strives to preserve the homogeneous nature of "bastion-like" structures but while allowing for material diversity to vary light qualities behind the facade skin. The majority of the building utilizes shingles and brick for cladding, though this becomes disrupted at specific points where occupancy is most dense. In these areas, namely in the front of house foyer or the back of house office zones, the more traditional opaque material becomes replaced with corten steel metal screen, which allows for light to stream into these areas more freely, while preserving the buildings sense of mass. At night these areas become illuminated and reveal the movement of the occupants beyond. At eh center lies the internal court, clad in light concrete and wood slats, allowing for a warm luminous interior space which bounces light and creates a heroic yet warm soothing environment for the theater of public life.
FINAL DOUBLE SECTIONAL MODEL: Powder Print, Basswood, Acrylic, Corrugated Cardboard, Grey Museum-board, Chipboard, White Paper
PROCESS SKETCHES: Systems, Site, and Form