Architecture – Magma Architecture: Al Qasba Theatre

 

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The Al Qasba is the main cultural centre of the Emirate of Sharjah. Two 150 m long four storey buildings facing each other on the two banks of the Qasba Canal house art galleries, theatres, shops, restaurants and offices.

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The Eye of the Emirates Ferris wheel at the end of the Northern building is the landmark of the Al Qasba visible from far away. Magma architecture redesigned the interior of the Masrah Al Qasba, the venue’s multipurpose auditorium.

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It is the home of large number of events amongst others the annual Sharjah film festival. The design proposal is to wrap the walls and ceiling of the space in an undulating surface resembling sand dunes.

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Light spills out of cracks in the surface softly supporting the dune like shapes. They are made out of stretchable fabric and form a clean surface shielding all the installations and acoustical insulation tucked behind the fabric.

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The seating is retained, but covered in a new textile in the same earthen color as the walls and the ceiling. The result is a calm, yet inspiring continuous space.

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The design of the Al Qasba auditorium refers to the nature of Sharjah as inspiration, suggesting an inverted, fully enclosing scenographic landscape in an array of undulating surfaces with light strips on fold lines.

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The architects sought to create an environment which allows visitors entering the space to disconnect from everyday life to immerse into the surprising and striking space of the staged narrative in the theatre.

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The building, which includes a 300 seat auditorium, has just been awarded a LEAF Commendation Award.

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Photos | Courtesy of Magma Architecture

 

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