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Realtime Theatre – Staging the public
This project is part of a larger urban reconstruction project which transformed a huge post-war parking lot into a new urban quarter with offices, shops and cultural buildings designed by Gewers Kühn + Kühn architects with the landscape architects st raum a, Berlin.
In the competition phase, architects Gewers Kühn + Kühn had already thought about integrating virtual communi-cation of the building contents into the architecture and transferring this to the object, thus allowing the outside world to experience the stage events inside. In order to create a potential space for the artwork, they set a glass shell 1.5 metres in front of the rehearsal stage wall.
In his concept for the façade of the new rehearsal studio building for the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the artist Olafur Eliasson has redefined the front of the building as a form of theatre stage facing onto the Marstallplatz, one of the city's main squares. Through his work, the square becomes both auditorium and stage.
The central perspective stage layout of the theatre defined by the mirror and glass creates, when seen from the square, a reflected image in red and green, which echoes the green copper rooftops in the area and the red backdrop on the façade (and in the theatre).
The reflected images in the mirrors have two separate components: The large lower mirror reflects the social activity and life on the Marstallplatz and the upper mirror reflects the sky above the square. Eliasson thus uses both the public area next to the building and the sky above it in his installation: “I have focused on giving a stronger experience of a public space through viewing and engaging in the Marstallplatz using the realtime/space “theatre play” on the façade. It is a way of reflecting upon yourself and the space in which you happen to be – the definition of society outside the theatre building”.
Description from the architects