3XN wins the architecture competition for a combined Theatre and Jazz-house in Molde, Norway. Molde, at the Romsdalsfjord south of Trondheim, is renowned for its international jazz festival attracting both famous jazz-musicians and a wide audience every summer in July.
3XN has designed a building that quite literally grabs the site, Gørvellplassen. Like a paper cut, the 3XN project cuts and folds the square to let the surface of the square and the roof of the building merge. In this way, the different stages, the gallery and the café of the inside are opened up to a free flow between the interior and the exterior of the building.
Emphasizing this principle, the form of the building can be described as horizontal strips, relating to each other creating wide openings for the daylight, providing a splendid view from within as well as from the outside. It is relatively low-rise, consisting of just three floors that make room for Teatret Vårt, Molde International Jazz Festival, the Bjørnson festival, the library and the arts centre in a compact and well-functioning structure. With its highly usable and easy accessible areas, it maintains the public space of Gørvellplassen, and even enhances the flexibility of the square.
Contemporary and innovative, but at the same time simple and blunt, the design of the building resists any excesses. Hence, it is in accordance with the surrounding sober and regularly shaped buildings, while the horizontal lay-out opens up the square in the north-south direction. Use of the same local stone on both walls and floors, creates a calm atmosphere. The exterior is dominated by the broad staircase. This, completed with beds for the roses of Molde, makes a lot of space for people to rest in nice weather. The staircase provides the jazz festival with a big open-air stage that may become a new focal point for the town.
The heart of the building is of course the stage in the main hall. Experience tells us that acoustics is best solved in a “shoebox” room. Therefore, the hall is rectangular and stripped of fancy shapes. Finally, the Theatre and jazz-house contains a library and an arts centre with a gallery facing the upper square. The library is situated in the eastern wing with a strong exposure to the square.
Project: Theatre and Jazz-house at Gørvellplassen, Molde, Norway. First prize, invited architecture competition
Client: ”Teater- og jazzhuset” (a consolidation of the local theatre Teateret Vårt, Stiftelsen Molde International Jazzfestival, Kunstnersenteret Møre og Romsdal, Stiftelsen Bjørnsonfestivalen, Molde kommune og Grunneierne på Gørvellplassen)
Budget: 75 mil. NOK
Area: 5.800 m²
Team: Kim Herforth Nielsen, Jan Ammundsen (partners 3XN) with Eva Hviid-Nielsen, Johanne Dahl Holmsberg, Marie Hesseldahl Larsen, Michael Soja Høxbroe