Haworth Tompkins and ARCO win Finnish theatre expansion

Image courtesy of Haworth Tompkins
UK architect Haworth Tompkins and Finnish studio ARCO have won a competition to rebuild a theatre in the town of Kouvola in southeastern Finland.

The plan is to retain the 1950s community education building and sports hall, designed by local architect Eero A Kajava, but to repurpose them as offices, dressing rooms and workshops. Meanwhile, the adjacent 1960s theatre will be rebuilt with a 400-seat auditorium.

The judges praised the project’s sustainable, modern approach, which still preserved the buildings’ “Kouvolan identity”.

Roger Watts, Haworth Tompkins’ director, said: “We are thrilled to be selected as winners alongside our Finnish design partners ARCO to develop proposals for the redevelopment of Kouvola Theatre.

“Our design aims to draw on the architectural and cultural memory of the buildings whilst radically transforming the production spaces and stages and opening up the foyer to the city.”

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