Nominated for Stockholm’s Building of the Year 2016, Skandiascenen brings an additional stage to the Cirkus theatre. Partially constructed into a niche of solid rock, the new modern addition is adjacent to the classical theatre dating from 1892. Together, the two theatres provide the opportunity to house a variety of events.
Skandiascenen, unusually situated into a carved mountain of stone, houses a new foyer, stage and salon seating for 800 theatre guests. The two auditoriums are linked together by the newly designed foyers that can be used alternately during simultaneous performances. Meeting the largest project challenge, to design an extension on an extremely limited grounds, White’s creative solution was to place a large portion of the house below ground and allowing the foyers to be placed on two different planes.
The extension is designed with a form that deliberately juxtaposes Cirkus, the existing historical theatre building; hence, consciously designed to possess a form and character of its own – equally reflective of its own period in time. Stainless steel gracefully clads the façade in an overlapping fish scale-like pattern. In its modern ornateness, the silky matte facade adds to the aura of festivity. The gently curved metal façade, with its high curved glass partitions, provides a dynamic sense of momentum when travelling alongside the adjacent Hazeliusbacken hillside. Starkly contrasting the culturally historic main building of stucco and brick, Skandiascenen’s round metal façade allows for the expression of another era.
However different the two exteriors may be in appearance, the interiors of the new theatre are equally as intimate as the original Cirkus. The new salon has a colour palette in shades of red in the same vein as traditional theatre auditoriums. The difference in level between Hazeliusbacken hillside and the new exterior ground at the building front, creates an entrance area that can be utilised for dining al fresco in the summertime.
An advanced load-bearing structure with beams and columns of glass functions as an entry building. The reasoning behind the placement of a fully glazed entrance at the front of the historic Cirkus was that such a volume would be as unobtrusive, light and transparent as possible. At twilight and evening hours, the older building’s interior facade appears behind the light glass volume while the glass connects down to a natural stone clad entrance area in front of the new theatre.