Transformative Architecture & Urban Development

Theatre Schleswig

Expansion and new construction, cultural/event building

The outline of the “Kulturhauses auf der Freiheit“ was inspired by naves from the Viking age. Not only by its form but also by its function and appearance, this building merges greatly into the surrounding of the new theatre.

Typically, nordic naves provide room for multiple families and appear as the centre for communication, exchange and culture. One of the biggest naves was found in Norway and reaches a volume of 9 x 83m. They excel through their simple construction and are laterally developed. A big common room, the middle hall, builds the centre, which is followed by private rooms. In order to categorize a building as a nave it has to fit into different criteria which are a certain way of organizing the communal life on the one hand and based on that a specific way of organizing the floor plan on the other. Thus, it is less about how long the house is. Moreover, naves are built out of wood, but their outer walls may also be stabilized through stone walls or tilted beams. Sods were used as wall covering or roofing and the wooden surfaces were carbonized to prevent them from moisture, pests or fungus. 

Project cost 12 Mio €
GFA 4400 m2
Period 09/2019 – 11/2019

Structural one-phase realization competition with application process

Handling of structure

After a thorough examination of the requirements in regards to usage of the hall, the decision was made not to reactivate and renovate the existing room. In order to achieve the most sustainable usage possible, a hall with a flexible telescopic platform is developed. That way, all usage variants can be realized in one cubature. For this purpose, the new building will be realized on the existing basement of the previously demolished building. The basement of the current hall and the bowling alley are accessed from the outside at ground level and continue the topography of the property inside. It was one of the key points to use the existing property most ​​sustainably. Existing sanitary and technical rooms, in particular the transformer, house connection and toilet area, remain unchanged in position and only need to be renovated.


Urban Development & Approach

In terms of urban planning, the new building is based on the existing property and continues in its former position. The orientation is clearly defined through the use of the existing base. The stage is in the north, so that the main entrance, foyer and forecourt follow the topography at different levels to the southwest and create a direct connection to Schleswig and the Schlei. The open space in front of the building is planned for taxis and busses, while parking is located in the northeast of the building. The main entrance to the new building is accessed from the southwest of the ground floor. From here you have direct access to the spacious foyer, which extends across all levels and offers a wide range of accommodation. Thus, the topography of the exterior is continued in the interior. Additionally, the foyer provides barrier-free access to all areas, including the existing buildings. Further access to the foyer on the upper floor and the employee entrance is possible from the north with a direct connection to parking, which allow views of the Schlei.


Topographic usage of stages, squares and communication spaces

Following the existing topography, the idea to create space for visit, art and culture on different levels in the exterior and interior is pursued. Hence, around the building as well as inside the foyer, there are multiple possibilities for space usage. In this way, the requirement to match the surroundings and use the landscape as a backdrop is met.


Materials, construction, cost efficiency

The building will be made with a glulam truss construction. The thermal envelope forms a monolithic brick facade provided with insulating plaster. This construction represents a simple and economical solution that can be realized statically on the existing walls. In order to improve the carrying capacity of the existing ceiling, another ceiling is created in concrete. If necessary, thermal upgrading of the existing building can be realized taking into account the design concept of the monolithic plaster facade. The choice of such facade enables simple usage and renovation of the existing building, so that a long-term, cost-effective design of the building is achieved.


Energy supply

The building’s technical connection box centers in the northern part of the new hall. The heating center and the building’s service room are close to each other in the basement and ventilation is located above the secondary stage under the roof. In the course of further design planning, the generous roof areas offer great space for a renewable energy concept consisting of photovoltaics and solar thermal energy in combination with an ice storage or an air-heating pump. The ice storage would particularly be useful in the summer for cooling. Moreover, the lamella facade and external sun protection of the hall’s window prevents overheating.



The visible glued wood trusses give the hall structure, which provides different options for sound insulation between the wood trusses. These can be suspended from the ceiling. Despite the use of wooden building materials, we additionally focused on heavy materials to ensure good external sound insulation. The outer walls are profiled with spray plaster to keep sound reflection as non-directional as possible. Furthermore, there is the possibility for other aggregates to optimally adapt the surface structure of the plaster.