Theatre as a beacon of culture

Odsherred Teater on the main pedestrian street in Nykøbing Sjælland is an important gathering place for the citizens of Odsherred in north-west Zealand. The theatre’s location and its architecture signal both versatility and dynamism.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

The new theatre extension seats 230 people in the 300-square-metre rectangular black box that constitutes the heart of the building. The technical equipment, doors, dressing rooms and other facilities are housed along one of the sides and at one end of the box.

Black Troldtekt acoustic panels on the ceilings in every room contribute to creating to darkness which the theatre uses as a backdrop for its performances as well as guaranteeing superior acoustics. Even though the ceilings and walls are black, all the rooms – except the auditorium – are well lit by daylight and are open to the theatre’s surroundings. In the foyer, golden wall panels reflect the incoming daylight, producing a warm glow that appears to be emanating from within the building.

Light and dark

Odsherred Teater was previously located outside the town but has acquired a more significant role as a cultural institution after moving to Nykøbing Sjælland’s main pedestrian street. The original property now houses a theatre café, office and entrance to the extension that has been added at the rear, and which can also be accessed via an alley from the pedestrian street. The covered alley also has golden walls and black Troldtekt acoustic panels.

The new extension, designed by Christensen & Co Arkitekter and Primus Arkitekter, stands out with facades designed as a patchwork of dark, transparent, and semi-transparent sections. Like any other industrial building, the building is honest about its many functions, while still being perceived as an aesthetic whole. It is clear to all that this is a modern theatre.