MVRDV's designs for a new entrance to the Emmen Zoo and theatre for the city bridge the gap between the surreal experience of foreign animals in a European park, and the urban situation of the city. A flowing landscape covers the public programs and entrance to the zoo, gradually opening up to the park beyond, while the theatre sits a a monolithic building atop this landscape. The architecture of the theatre reflects the outlandish zoo pavilions and animal enclosures on the site.
The new entrance area for the world famous Emmen Zoo, and new theatre for the city are at the edge of the city center in a transition zone: transition between urban and rural, existing buildings and new developments, animals and humans, leisure and culture. A place where realism meets surrealism.
The 'World of Encounters' and the theatre connects the different characters by creating an inhabited landscape of public facilities, with a monolithic volume, the theater, on top. Green and smooth on the one hand, urban on the other. The view from inside the zoo encompasses a landscape, and from the city an architectural facade and monumental volume on present a more urban character. The difference in height on the site is be used to hide the different worlds of the Zoo. As visitors walk through the landscape the two worlds gradually collide. The landscape can be used by the visitors and small performances can be held there. The entrances of the zoo and the theater are next to each other.
The theater is designed to function as fully operational theater for the largest shows and performances in the Netherlands. Required spaces like seating, stage, tower and expedition area’s are placed in the most efficient way and define the volume. A skin wrapped around these programmatic boxes unifies them, and creates extra space for more flexible kinds of program in the spaces between and on top of the boxes.
- Principal in charge
- Strategy & Development