Construction of the Theatre National de Wallonie-Bruxelles boulevard Jacqmain in Brussels.
The NATIONAL THEATRE is like an isthmus, gingerly nestled into tight inner-city fabric, poised between the frantic pace of the boulevard (main entrances, ticket offices, entrée des artistes,…) and the more tranquil back-street ambience where all services are organized. It offers passer-by’s a shimmering veil of undulating opalescent glass transforming itself under fluctuating light and changing reflections, delicately resonating with surrounding urban activity. Through the shroud of its façade, shadows of the theater’s carefully proportioned features appear, chiselled with precision: the long and dense brief called for a « grande salle », a « petite salle », and a multi-purpose rehearsal hall. The foyer meanders languidly between these functions, designed as continuous open space connecting street level and rooftops … front and back sides.
The large main theater hall, variable in size and shape with a seating capacity of 752, allows for diverse scenographies thanks largely to its proscenium which can extend in several directions. It is equipped with : a 25 m x 13 m stage, a 20 x 5 m backstage, and a 13 m x 7,5 m lateral stage. Left and right are 2 alternating lateral galleries accessible to the public, and several more gangways for technicians only.
All functions and activities merge and connect owing to generous flights of stairs flowing throughout … the boundary-less foyer encompassing the harnessed energy with fluid ease.