For its latest project, Powerhouse Company has completed a new cinema for Pathé Theatres in the city of Arnhem in the east of the Netherlands. Commissioned in 2012 by invited competition the project is the first of a number of cinemas Powerhouse Company is designing for Pathé to fulfil the cinema’s ambition to be the Dutch market leader.
Designed to blend into its urban surroundings, the scheme is part of a wider city masterplan by UNStudio to regenerate the transitional area between the modern public transport terminal and the historical centre. The building’s overall design comprises nine stacked cinema screens on top of commercial units and logistic spaces on the ground and first floor.
The 12,500 square-metre building, which replaces a steel demountable temporary parking garage, has the added facility of including a multifunctional auditorium and foyer on the third floor that can be used for conferences, events and concerts. Architecturally, these spaces are articulated as a brick and aluminium-clad urban block with varying heights and setbacks in response to the surrounding cityscape.
The lower, 150m southern strip with shops and the cinema entrance is set along Oude Stationsstraat where most pedestrians will pass, whereas the northern side of the building is reserved for car access and service areas. Powerhouse Company’s facade wraps around the stacked volume with abstract horizontal bands and curved corners that mould to the contours of the city.
These bands are expressed through aluminium and brickwork that merge seamlessly into each other and are punctuated with windows from the foyers. The brickwork has different patterns and colours, gradually flowing from rough and dark at the bottom to smooth and light at the top.
The building rises to 35 metres through three shifted volumes, creating spacious outdoor terraces from where to enjoy panoramic views over the city and surrounding landscape. The smooth transition of the facade is the most important detail of the building, giving it a luxurious and crafted appearance, as well as being an appropriate addition to the city.
The five-colour dark red to light brown brick gradient responds to the context of the historical centre, while the aluminium has been chosen to match the new material for the modern station development. The colours of the brick are based on studies carried out by Powerhouse Company into the colour range found in the city. The aluminium, meanwhile, adds a certain abstraction to the building as well as being a requirement from the original masterplan.
In this way, the cinema’s crown is entirely encased in aluminium. The brick was also a way of creating the building’s rounded-corners without joints in response to the elaborate curves of the new central station. These techniques bed the overall scale of the cinema into its context and will help make the cinema a central part of the city. Source by Powerhouse Company.
Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands
Architects: Powerhouse Company
Project Team: Nanne de Ru, Stefan Prins, Dik Houben, Ard Jan Lootens, Stefan de Meijer, Ryanne Janssen, Sybren Woudstra
Developer: Epicurus Development
Contractor: Bouwbedrijf Wessels Rijssen B.V.
Architect casco: EUP Design
Interior architect: Naço
Structural Engineering: IMD Raadgevende Ingenieurs
Installation Engineering: DPA Cauberg Huygen
Public space: Bureau B+B Stedenbouw en landschapsarchitectuur
Masterplan Arnhem Centraal: UNStudio
Client: Pathé Theatres B.V.
Area: 12,500 m2
Year: Completion October 2015
Photographs: Ossip van Duivenbode, Ronald Tilleman, Courtey of Powerhouse Company