Theater and cultural center De Nobelaer completed in Etten-Leur

The new building for theater and culture center De Nobelaer, designed by TenBrasWestinga, has been completed. The cultural institution provides Etten-Leur with, among other things, a large hall with a flat floor, a small hall, a library, music, dance and drama studios, workshops and offices. All areas are designed for multiple uses.

“The design of the new building responds to the changing circumstances of contemporary cultural centers,” TenBrasWestinga outlines the context in which the design was created. “More and more organizations are using one multi-functional residence. In addition, theaters are no longer introverted, monofunctional organizations, on the contrary. ‘Seeing from the outside what is happening inside’ and stimulating mutual cross-pollination between different cultural disciplines has been the basis for the new building.”

This resulted in an extremely compact design with a recognizable, double-height central space in the building. Large glass surfaces in the facade and in the building provide a wealth of daylight, a strong relationship with the outside and a lot of internal visibility of the various activities in the building.

All studios are immediately visible and accessible from the central living room, so they can also be used for public events. The living room itself can also be used for events and events. The library is directly connected to the central living room.

“The interior design is aimed at meeting each other, getting to know each other and the activities in the building, with as much recycling as possible and furniture with a second life,” says TenBrasWestinga, who also designed the interior in addition to the building. .

The building is located on Parklaan, close to the center of Etten-Leur. The main entrance, the hall and the drama studios face the city centre. To the rear, the volume decreases in height and the connection is sought with the residential area’s lower building height. The foyer, or living room, is precisely oriented towards this sunny south side of the location.

The exterior stone facade has three shades of gray that become progressively lighter as the building grows taller. The outer facades are partially continued in the interior. Interior walls and ceilings are made of Accoya wood. Walls in traffic areas feature floor-to-ceiling photography by theater photographer Deen van Meer.

The interior of the central room refers to a living room. It gives everyone opportunities to meet each other in a relaxed atmosphere. Just like at home, there are tables and chairs, lazy sofas, carpets and (book) cabinets. Further along throughout the building, meeting places have been designed. A large part of the furniture was bought via The mix of old and new creates a familiar feeling at De Nobelaer right from the start.

Designed for the sun and nature
The design makes optimal use of the orientation to the sun. The largest glass surfaces are located on the (non-exposed) north side. The large glass surface on the south side is equipped with a five-metre deep sun-reflecting canopy. The large roof surface is largely equipped with solar panels.

The building and the garden park around the building are designed as one whole. Opposite the roof surface is one and a half times the green surface. On the west and south sides of the building, this is arranged as a flower park. In addition to wildflowers, which are largely home to insects, all kinds of plants that flower in different seasons have been used.

The building is equipped with twelve bat boxes. Infiltration channels around the building and the wadis in the transition from site to environment predict floods, droughts and heat.

Large spans create wall- and column-free spaces that can be reconfigured as needs change. The architectural processing of the theater and culture center De Nobelaer took place in collaboration with SVP Architecture and Urban Planning. The building has a total of 5,150 square meters. The main contractor was Bouwbedrijf Vrolijk from Breda.

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