Nørrebro Theatre

  • Client

    Nørrebro Teater

  • Location

    Ravnsborggade 3, DK-2200 Copenhagen N

  • Area

    2.548 m2

  • Status

    Realiseret i 1932

A technical miracle of early Danish modernism

After the original Nørrebro Theatre burned to the ground in 1931, Vilhelm Lauritzen created a new theatre based on the rationality of functionalism. Inspired by the cinema typology, the theatre with its clear functional facade became an example of modernism's entry into the Danish entertainment industry.

Following the fire, the new Nørrebro Theatre was to function as not only a theatre, but also a cinema, demanding that the audience must all directly face the stage. With narrow preconditions, such as a limited plot, outer wall remains, a salvaged stage house and a desire for a 1,200 spectator space - a capacity increase of 70 percent - Vilhelm Lauritzen set about creating one of Danish entertainment's first functionalistic buildings. After a record-breaking design and building process of only seven months, the theatre reopened on 7 September 1932.

To build a multifunctional theatre for more guests within a narrow, existing framework was an immense challenge. Lauritzen did not have the opportunity to experiment with the relationship between the stage and the audience or the shape of the room. His solution was to optimise the existing area, add height and a deep horseshoe-shaped balcony that resembles the Mamorhaus in Berlin. Solutions that in total provided space for 1,145 spectators.

Together with Hans Erling Langkilde, Lauritzen himself was responsible for decorations for both the facade and the bars, where the main purpose was design for the senses. Guests should be able to enjoy the vibrant colours choreographed to match the elegant embellishment and lighting.

Edvard Thomsen was impressed by his students' performance; Arne Jacobsen's Bellevue Theatre was wonderfully summery and Vilhelm Lauritzen's Nørrebro Theatre was a technical miracle

The book ‘Vilhelm Lauritzen, A Modern Architect’, 1994

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