Théâtre des Variétés: re-destination from monument to theater campus

by Laura Reyniers from KU Leuven - Faculty of Architecture, campus Sint-Lucas Brussels, Belgium
Tutored by: Harold Fallon

Author comments:

For our master’s thesis we were given the freedom to make our own assignment. The city of Brussels as a location was the only criteria that was mandatory. With Brussels as a starting point, every student could focus on a theme that fits with his/hers personal field of interests. I myself started an investigation into the different types of vacancy we see today in Brussels and how they are being addressed. Several vacant sites were selected and studied for their possibilities in re-destination. This research eventually resulted in a new design proposal for the site of the Théâtre des Variétés, located on the corner of the Mechelsestraat and the Sint-Pietersstraat.

Further research into existing theater halls in Brussels shows that there is already a wide range present. The demand for the restoration of the theater therefore seems to be minimal. The protection as a monument also forms a certain limitation within the search for a new program. Therefore we opted to add three new volumes that make a connection with the existing theater hall: flexible classrooms, a media library and a student residence. The whole site provides a new educational campus of the RITCS for their theater and film department. The theater in the middle serves as a common hall. It is the place where these three functions come into contact. The relationship between the hall and the three new buildings is both functional and visual.

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