Project team:

Client: Danish Ministry of Culture / Royal Danish Theatre Company
Architects: Lundgaard & Tranberg, Copenhagen
Lighting design: Jesper Kongshaug, Copenhagen


Products applied:

Linear fluorescent lamps, bridge: custom design, Louis Poulsen LEDs
bridge: Bewee, Louis Poulsen
Illumination, tower: halogen surface spotlights, Bega 7591 Downlights,
facade/promenade: Bega 8058
Facade, second floor: recessed light fixtures equipped with
70 watt metal halide lamps, Bega 6903
Facade, third floor, spotlights: Zumtobel Xeno Fibre-optic lighting,
foyer/auditorium: Roblon
Metal tubes: custom made Generators with DMX connection: Roblon Downlights,
foyer/central auditorium: Source Four Zoom, ETC Downlights, artists’ areas: halogen, Zumtobel Panos Pendant luminaires,
artists’ areas: Zumtobel Copa

20. Sep 2009

A light drama in three acts

Text: David Müller
Photos: Laura Stamer, Jens Markus Lindhe, Roblon, Adam Mørk

“All the world’s a stage”, Shakespeare claimed. When Hamlet was performed at the opening of Copenhagen’s new theatre one thing was apparent to all present: what a fantastic theatre! The stage itself is truly unique. The lighting concept for the Royal Playhouse was designed by Jesper Kongshaug. This was the biggest architectural project to date for the Dane, who began his lighting design career in stage lighting. Kongshaug has transformed the architectural structure into a drama in three acts: using the outdoor area, the foyer and the auditorium as a stage, not just to achieve lighting solutions in these areas, but to create scenarios with references to nature and the environment. The rest is pure enjoyment and silence!

Theatre has a long tradition in Copenhagen. Ever since 1880 there has been a desire to found a new, independent theatre, to offer an appropriate stage for modern, contemporary plays, a setting that would allow the performances to appear more natural and the occasion more intimate. Since stage plays have slowly but surely moved away from dramatic monologues towards realistic conversations, the close proximity and integration of the audience was also a significant aspect. Over the years temporary solutions were sought time and again in a variety of smaller localities. Even the Danish Radio concert hall was used at times. Then after 130 years of waiting, the time had come: the new Royal Playhouse was opened offering three different stages for classic and contemporary plays performed in English and Danish. In addition to the stages the building comprises a library, arecording studio, and a cafeteria as well as numerous special rooms for artists spread over a total of 12,000 square metres of useable floor space. As a result of the economic developments of the last decades Copenhagen’s harbour had become abandned and neglected. Many old buildings in need of restoration grace the Danish capital’s once proud harbour. The decision was made to build the playhouse here to breathe new life into the district through culture and beauty. The building developed by architects Lundgaard & Tranberg consists of three essential elements: the foyer, which takes the form of a large 150 by eight metre glass case; above this there is a glass and metal structure housing offices and changing room facilities for the actors and actresses. In the upper central section there is a brown cube – the tower housing the theatre’s stages. Visible from afar, the tower lends the structure dominance and an additional aesthetic quality. […]
The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 68.

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