ArtEZ Academy of Theatre and Dance

ArtEZ Academy of Theatre and Dance
  • Education
  • Interior
  • New construction

The University of the Arts in Arnhem requires its various faculties to be grouped together as closely as possible to the listed school building by Rietveld (1958). The search for a suitable location for the Dance and Theatre Faculty is a fairly long story. The building needed 7000 m², with an auditorium height of 11 metres, and there seemed to be no other solution than to place it right next to the Rietveld building. 

In order to retain the landscape qualities of this transparent building in its green environment and to enable double land use, it was decided to locate the new faculty underground. Lengthy time periods underground are psychologically demanding for the user, which is why a large glass dome has been constructed at ground level, providing a great deal of natural light to an underground atrium. The classrooms, dance studios, rehearsal rooms and a theatre are grouped around this common area. The materialisation and detailing of the underground building are light and clear. Technical considerations have led to the building having an orthogonal shape. Cast-iron cross bars dissect the central area, absorbing the forces caused by ground pressure on the side walls. The main entrance of the Rietveld building acts as the entrance to the underground Dance and Theatre Faculty via an underground link. The Rietveld building is the main entrance to the University of the Arts, and the new faculty is reached via this building.

  • Design: 1999-2001
  • Client: ArtEZ Academy of Theatre and Dance
  • Location: Arnhem
  • Delivery: 2004
Atrium richly provided with daylight
Traffic artery through atrium
Corridor along classrooms
Classroom dance

‘A large glass dome has been constructed at ground level, providing a great deal of natural light to the underground atrium.’

View of glass roof of underground extension
Glass canopy in evening light

Project team

Janneke Bierman Hubert-Jan Henket (founder) Henk van Laarhoven Rob Schoutsen Tamara van Kampen

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