Transformation in Practice: Centralteateret
Erlend Skjeseth, Benjamin Söberg and Alena Rieger
The studio will work with the transformation of Centralteateret in the centre of Oslo. The theatre is a cultural building of complex provenance, making it an ideal case study for working with existing buildings. The first iteration of Centralteateret dates back to the late 18th century, and the theatre has since gone through several transformations. Unique to Centralteateret, these layers are still visibly intact to reveal the rich history embedded in the building’s fabric. The different areas share a near undisturbed patina, and these qualities should be cultivated rather than sanitised in future scenarios.
A theatre is a machine for illusion and storytelling, where the architecture is working hard to signify and symbolise, flatter, and seduce. The studio will study these aspects of the building to look for ways to improve the existing condition. The studio will propose projects transforming the theatre through a surgical analysis of the many spaces and components of the building. Output will be a series of interventions, provocations and extensions that balance the need to preserve the existing condition with the building’s potential for future use.