The Royal Danish Theatre’s playhouse is located at the edge of the city, towards the harbour between Nyhavn and Frederiksstaden - two of Copenhagen’s finest, historic urban areas. 

The architectural main concept submits to the scale, proportions and materiality of the area’s buildings and urban space, making the playhouse a natural and rewarding part of the whole. 

The oak board promenade seizes the surrounding city, lifting itself above quayside and accesses the large foyer of the theatre which functions as a public space, opening the playhouse towards the harbour. 

The stage building contains the three stages of the theatre and the auditoriums. With its rustic brickwork and copper coated fly tower, it is clearly related to the materiality in the surrounding, historic city area. 

The lighting in the foyer is softened, designed both to neutralize reflections in the glass façade and create a sensuous excitement, preparing the audience for meeting the actors in the halls. 

The atmosphere is strengthened in the large auditorium where the walls are conducted with the same dark, rough bricks as the façade - here in a unique bond with alternating protrusions, precisely regulating the acoustics of the hall to the desired tone, and creating an intimate, dramatic atmosphere in the room, as in a rock cave.

The top storey brings all the staff facilities together, such as the administration, costumes, artist wardrobes, library, cafeteria and more.

All of which are enriched with a magnificent view of the harbour and city through the glass façade, varying in greenish colours. 

The tiles and brick bond used are - just as the red theatre chair - developed and designed by Lundgaard & Tranberg especially for the playhouse. 

An innovative energy concept, based on thermo-active structures, heat pump technology and seawater cooling, plus the reutilisation of the audience’s heat and the powerful stage lighting of the halls, reduce the cooling requirements of the building with more than 75 %, and the total energy consumption with approximately 40 %. 


Sankt Annæ Plads 36, 1250 København K

In total: 21.000 m², here of 18.600 m2 above ground

Det Kongelige Teater / Kulturministeriet

Client consultant:
Moe & Brødsgaard A/S, Erik Møllers Tegnestue


Gade & Mortensen A/S

Artistic advisor:
Finn Reinbothe, John Kørner, Peter Holst Henckel

1. præmie i åben, international projektkonkurrence
Opført 2004-07

Awarding of prizes:

The society for the embellishment of the capital, diploma 2007
The Danish Lighting Award 2008
RIBA European Award 2008
The Nordic Lighting Award 2008
The municipality of Copenhagen 2008
Danish sustainable concrete award 2009
Red Dot Award 2009 (The theatre chair)
iF International Forum Design Award 2009 (The theatre chair)
Arkitekturforeningens pris ’Store Arne’ 2011