Theater 11 in Zurich

For a number of years the industrial district Oerlikon in north Zürich has been undergoing a transformation process, exemplified in the Stadthof theatre’s metamorphosis into a venue for musials. The newly sheathed building massing – with its altered scale, materiality and presence – has a fitting relationship to its surroundings. The brief called for 500 additional seats, a larger foyer and modern stage technology, necessitating a radical overhaul of the existing building. Only the fly tower and basement remain intact. A new, uniform layer of space enwraps the hall and stage massing, now discernible as one volume. Dark-grey, perforated, corrugated steel cloaks the entire building, which, with its polygonal faces, resembles an angular sculpture. A small number of square windows penetrate the perforated metal skin, furnishing glimpses into the building, but, due to their varying formats and irregular composition, give no clues as to how the building’s different levels are arranged. Numerous small openings situated behind the skin are barely perceptible during the day, but shimmer mysteriously at night. The facade’s upward slope culminates at the entrance, which is situated below the steel skin’s highest point. It cuts open a triangle in the facade, pulling in the arriving theater-goers and leading them inside the building. The hall is characterised on the whole by dark tones, only accentuated by the chairs and the red carpet.
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