Radiant Partners’ architect Sigita Norviliūtė along with the team of TRYS A.M. – A. Garšvaitė-Reimerienė, K. Reimeris, M. Nekrošius, A. Nekrošienė and others – were awarded the 1st prize in an invitation-only international competition for designing the new Russian Drama Theatre building in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The new Russian Drama Theatre building as envisioned by us is an iconic, distinctly expressive structure fashioned after first basic cut of a diamond. Once realized, it will be located a short distance away from The Pyramid designed by British starchitect Sir Norman Foster.
“Astana is a unique city – it has sprung up from the ambition to create not only a national capital but also a national identity shaped almost exclusively by a single man: Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan A. Nazarbayev,” notes Sigita Norviliūtė.
“Other countries have built futuristic capitals in remote locations, Brasília most famously, and other cities have experienced rapid, transformational construction, like Dubai, for which our team is also doing work, or even the imperial capital that once ruled Kazakhstan – Moscow. But in Astana, the chief architect is really the president itself – and while international star-studded juries are employed in selecting the winners of architectural competitions, every project and every building ultimately has to be approved by the president.”
Designed to accommodate parallel events and functions, the new Astana Russian Drama Theatre includes a Grand Performance Hall (500 seats) and Second Performance Hall (200 seats) which are positioned at different building levels with separate entrances, foyers, utility premises and cafes. Exploiting the current topography of the site, the stylobate of the structure takes form of multilevel local plaza fit for recreational activities. A waterfront pool has been designed at the lower level of the plaza from the river side, seamlessly morphing with the site layout.
Visitor flows into different functions of the theatre are defined and organized by plaza levels. Main entrance is oriented to the main intersection of nearby streets. The main compositional axis of the building is in conformity with present urban axes, maintaining fundamental planning idea of Astana city intact. Symbolical cherry garden as a nod to Russian drama traditions has been planned in the plaza.
Floor area: 20755 sq m. Occupied site area: 5130 sq m.