The Klinker Cultural Centre was given a lively exterior to reflect the expressive nature of its programs. Its central location in Winschoten makes it easily accessible to the residents who can enjoy the cultural offerings of the theatre, arts centre, radio studio and library, or savour a coffee in the theatre café. In this way, residents themselves actively contribute to their city’s cultural life.
It functions as a juncture between the small-scale buildings of the historic inner city and the larger scale of post-war developments and renovations. The adjacent city centre is characterised by double-storey masonry houses made of local Groningen clay. The reduced scale is emphasised by the horizontal bands that split and join as they move around the building. Major characteristics of the building are its richly detailed vertical masonry and deep, sloping window recesses which lend the building a strong and bold appearance. Different types of bricks were specially designed for the project and produced in traditional orange Groningen clay. The technical zones in the plinth also reflect a connection to the surroundings. The raw, brown/orange ends of the building feature CorTen steel surfaces perforated with the contours of Groningen’s landscape.
The foyer is the heart of the building, where the audience can meet one another and have post-show discussions. The space is animated by the dynamic positioning of the theatre in the building, especially with the warm glow of daylight bouncing on the wood surfaces throughout the day. The rounded form of the theatre is the first sight when entering the foyer. Its volume is disconnected from the floors and is emphasised further by the lofty void surrounding it.
At night, the foyer is entirely taken over by the theatre. The stairs to the upper floors are strategically positioned and are designed in order to separate the flow of traffic into public and private sections. The spacious public staircase is located inside the foyer, while the private stairs are incorporated into the volume itself.
The central positioning of the theatre forms a natural division between the public and private zones. Backstage functions are grouped around the stages of the two theatres. The loading zone is designed with a simple screen that ensures privacy for the artists and technicians. Offices are also connected to the backstage zone. The goods lift is accessible externally and from the loading zone.
Auditorium theatre and black box theatre
In this theatre, performers have the possibility to come very close to the audience, creating an intimate atmosphere. Furthermore, by closing off the orchestra pit using a sliding floor panel, the stage can be extended towards the auditorium. The auditorium contains 650 seats spread over the parterre and balcony with loges. The seats and theatre drapes are dark red, while the walls are dark grey and covered with acoustic elements for sound diffusion, reflection and absorption. These elements also contain adjustable mood lighting.