Nationale Opera & Ballet, renovation foyer

Location

Amsterdam

Client

Nationale Opera & Ballet

Year

2018

Status

Completed

Program

Opera, Commercial

Studio Richard Hutten (furniture)
Photos: Michel Claus

Nationale Opera & Ballet, renovation foyer

The foyer of the National Opera & Ballet has been refurbished, as part of a series of adjustments. The ground floor of the town hall will also soon be renovated and a new entrance will be added to the opera.

The opera building was designed by Cees Dam. The building was built in 1986 and intertwined with the town hall. The renovation is important to strengthen the identity of the National Opera & Ballet within the complex.

In the foyer the characteristic pink carpet has been replaced by grey, the atmosphere has become more solemn. The space is more focused on the city. The contrast between the room and the foyer has been increased. Around the reflective bars, where carpet is less suitable, the floors are finished with circular surfaces of dark walnut. A colour accent has been added with the furniture. Richard Hutten designed a series of tables, chairs, benches in eight shades of red that line the foyer. They follow the curved shape of the facade.

The design also seeks to meet the plans to redesign the municipality on Waterlooplein and the ground floor of the town hall. In the current situation, the building and the surrounding space constitute an interruption of the urban fabric. To counteract this, shops will be located in the internal street of the complex.

Because the performances are not held on a daily basis, the façade is dark for much of the year. To make the opera a more integral part of the city, the plinth, that now houses the artist foyer, will be reinforced by a restaurant and a cocktail bar. The initial idea was to allow artists and the public to share the space. “The opera staff were not very fond of that concept,” says Diederik Dam. “The artist foyer will therefore be relocated. The new entrance is right next to the restaurant. So at the front, instead of tucked away in the armpit of the building.”

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