Kengo Kuma wins the competition to design the new Kamal Theatre

The IAA Professor Kengo Kuma in collaboration with Werner Sobek AG, Wowhaus bureau, and the Personal creative workshop of architect Bakulin German Alekseevich have won the open International Competition for the development of an Architectural Concept for the Galiasgar Kamal Tatarian State Academic Theatre. Located in Kazan, in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, the Galiasgar Kamal Theatre is characterized by its “interpretations of the Tatar art, its rich repertoire, and the use of different techniques and Tatar language”.

The main purpose of the competition is to use “architectural language to express the part of the national culture that has been cherished and interpreted by the theatre company for decades”.

The winning project is inspired by the rare natural phenomenon of “ice flowers” present on the Kaban Lake.

In winter, the building’s volume will merge with the surroundings and become part of the lake. In summer the unity with the landscape will be achieved through the multifaceted reflections of the transparent facades on water. The “pointedness” and aspiration are characteristic features of Tatar culture, architecture, and art.

The new building is conceived as part of the topography of the place, as a park with pedestrian routes and recreational areas integrated into and picking up from the existing waterfront improvements. A form inspired by the Tartar soul itself: sharp/closed on the outside and soft/hospitable inside. The lighting concept is to light up the warm inner space of the foyer and gradually dissolve the light with the triangular panels of the facade. The brightly ornamented paneling in the interior refers to traditional Tatar crafts creating a welcoming atmosphere.

The building connects to the unique surrounding ecosystem and to the center of vivid urban life.

The new venture will include a main hall, universal hall and eastern hall, as well as creative and educational laboratories, a public area and rehearsal and administrative spaces.