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Turku City Theatre

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Customer: City of Turku
Location: Itäinen Rantakatu 14, Turku, Finland ››
Completed: 2017
Area: 9,500 m2 (old section), 4,700 m2 (expansion section)

The Turku City Theatre renovation and extension project is an example of preservation of a modern building and finding solutions to renovation and enlargement problems. Extension work was challenging from a cityscape standpoint due to the theatre’s central and visible location. The work presented questions about preservation of modern architecture as well as linking the extension to the existing section so that the extension had its own character while at the same time preserving the identity and integrity of the original section. Dialogue with both the Museum Centre of Turku and city planners was vital part of the design process.

The Turku City Theatre building was completed in 1962. It was designed by architects Aarne Hytönen, Risto-Veikko Luukkonen and Helmer Stenroos. The building is located in the heart of the City of Turku on the Aura River, and is zoned as a protected historic area. At the time, the building was realised on a tight budget and the need for additional space changes was already evident just ten years after completion of the new building.

When the building was 50 years old, planning of renovations and extension was commissioned by the City.

LPR Architects realised a project plan and a draft design. The plan mapped out the current operating spaces and their deficiencies and drafted a space utilisation programme in collaboration with users.

The focal points of extension and renovation work are blending the extension section with the existing theatre building and demanding landscape, finding solutions for multi-purpose functionality, replacing building technology and considering the cityscape aspect.

Production spaces will be modernised: the extension will house a new metal and woodworking shop, paint shop, wardrobe room and upholstery area. A new theatre hall will also be located in the expansion section. Additional room by the main stage will be added for prop changes. Due to the expansion, traffic, parking and materials transport traffic will be redesigned. The theatre’s building technology will be modernised.

The building’s original furnishings, doors and windows will be inventoried for the planning process.

The planning utilises 3D modelling in addition to city plans and floor plans. Point could technology was used in modelling the theatre building.