The city of Nieuwegein has acquired a new theatre complex: “De Kom”. The complex consists of two halls: one large hall (650 seats including balcony) and one smaller hall (flat floor) with balcony and 200 seats. Various constructions layers are proved with a foyer. The arts centre is located at the theatre. Over there, the music, dance, and theatre educations of De Kom are located. In this building, there is still space for commercial provision of services. The large hall is provided with a stage tower.

The central hall consists of the entrance area and the general area. The entrance area is a semi-public area that has a floating transition with the Stadsplein (City Square). From the central hall, the arts centre can be reached via lifts and staircases. At the ground floor the artists’ foyer, catering facilities, and ateliers are located.

The catering facilities consist of a dishwashing room and a theatre cafe. The creativity centre consists of ateliers for expressive art and is positioned on the ground floor.

Theater de Kom Valstar Simonis

Installations, Flexibility & Sustainability

The challenges for this project were with the complex programme (combination of functionalities), the limited “footprint” available, and the tight budget. Within the set preconditions, with all parties a qualitatively high-quality design was developed. Because of the close collaboration during the design phase and a positive stance of all designers (one has to be prepared to look beyond its own limits), within the budgetary preconditions a well integrated, sustainable and energy-saving design has emerged.

Some specific issues include:

  • Theatre halls are located at a higher level; for transport an in-house space with freight lift was provided for;
  • The façade was designed transparently and provided with special LED lighting in order to optimise the experience of space in the foyers. No lowered ceilings were applied. This means that the installations (also the sprinkler) are poured in, which requires a detailed, precise tuning of all designing parties during the design phase;
  • Transparent glass lifts in the foyer;
  • Application of sprinkler installation, because of which a three-dimensional design becomes possible.

Theater de Kom Valstar Simonis

For a proper theatre design we find it of the greatest importance - in consultation with the architect - to establish a sound lighting plan.

The elaboration of the transparent façade is an example of sound and intensive collaboration between all disciplines. The aesthetic wishes of the architect, in close relation to the constructional/physical characteristics (ice-trap, insulation value, limiting cooling load), acoustic preconditions, and integration of the LED lighting resulted in the current design.

In the theatre halls, LED lighting was applied for the general lighting as well. In the foyers, a combination of LED lighting and a “light wall” (the back wall) was applied. By carrying out a market surveillance at an early stage, things could be solved properly both lighting-technically and with regard to budget.

The area coverage for technique was minimises by situating the central technical rooms reasonably centrally in the building (around the stage tower).

For the generation of heat and cold the building is connected to the heat and cold storage installation already present on the premises.