2012 Chiel SchiffelerChiel Schiffeler - Klankstad-theater re-[dis]covered
Thinking about the Zuid-Limburgse city of Kerkrade, one thinks of ‘city of coalmines’. This industry caused an exponential growth of the population.
After the coalmines were closed in 1974, the distinct characteristic faded.
It made place for a new identity: Kerkrade, “Klankstad”, based on the passion of the inhabitants; to make music.

One of the facilities to support the cultural societies and to accommodate the grandiose cultural events, is the theatre: “Theater Kerkrade”.
Designed in the 70’s as a cultural centre, as a gesture to the regional cultural societies, it is located in the heart of the city centre.

The complexity of the current urban design disrupts the city centre, by separating living and shopping.

The theatre-complex embraces theatre, living and shopping. However, it does not have the desired outcome. Only a functional theatre remains, captured by 101 apartments and leading to an abandoned shopping centre.

After a fortunate era, a new period started; Kerkrade is shrinking! However, fascinating is the growing number of members of cultural societies.

“Klankstad”-theater re-[dis]covered transforms and reallocates the current theatre-complex, by creating interesting connections in the city centre. Urban relations are repaired which provides in the central position of the theatre.

The public space, with its nostalgic touch, allows the building to present itself to the inhabitants, visitors of the city and theatre guests. The additional program upgrades the theatre, to the original idea of a cultural centre. The current structures of the building are respected, and the program is reallocated accurately.

A renewed routing creates a perception between existent and new, and rediscovers the theatre. It creates moments of social encounter where people can share their experiences. The current separation between inhabitants, visitors of the city and theatre guests will be dissolved.

“Klankstad”-theater enables regional passion, social encounter, creativity and developing talent!

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