The chair for the Playhouse’s large scene is designed to accommodate the Royal Theatre’s wish of creating both an intimacy in the layout of the auditorium, and the possibility of involving the entire hall as a stage space.
The acting needs to be able to free itself from the scene and move to the edge of the proscenium, all the way out to the sides of the balconies, and exceptionally - use the entire room.
This movement changes the sight lines and places great demands on the freedom to move in the chair, so the audience can easily turn towards the center of the events. The result is a chair that may be modest in size but has a spacious embrace.
The chairs are placed like pearls on a string, reaching past the fold-up chair, out towards the audience who are welcomed. The round seat and the sweeping shell, in one piece constituting the back and armrest, enables an infinite number of sitting postures with great support of your upper and lower back, even when turning 45 degrees in the chair.
The height of the back rest is adapted, so you can rest your arm on top of the back rest, even in this inclining position and obtain a more sprawled, yet still upright sitting posture. The chair has an inviting shape, which is comfortable sitting next to – even if the neighboring chair isn’t occupied.
The chair furthermore functions as an acoustic part of the hall, and is designed so an empty chair has the same sound absorbing effect as an occupied one.
This means that the tone – a crucial element of experiencing the play and closely harmonized with ‘the spoken word’ – is always the same, no matter if the hall is empty or full.
The frame exists in 12 variants, while the padded parts are the same in all of the 658 chairs. The frame variations meet the need for differentiated sloping of the chair’s back, depending on where in the hall the chair is placed. Additionally, some chairs are demountable, some are extra tall whilst others have a foundation plate and are standing loosely on the floor.
Contrary to traditional theatre chairs, which are often upholstered with long piled silk velour, the chair designed for the playhouse is upholstered with woollen velour with short, dense pile, more precisely drawing the shape of the chair, while maintaining the classic theatre references.
The red colour is part of the playhouse’s general colour scheme and appears on doors, walls and curtains in the building. The red is mixed with a bit of black, which is ideal for theatre use, since the colour turns completely black and the chair ‘disappears’ when the light is dimmed and the magic begins.
Det Kongelige Teater / Kulturministeriet
Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects
Gade & Mortensen A/S
Getama Danmark A/S
Awarding of prizes:
Red Dot Award 2009 (the theatre chair)
iF International Forum Design Award 2009 (the theatre chair)