Design Studio WS 10/11



The former theater “MalaStrana” is located at Mittersteig 15. The use as a venue was abandoned a decade ago and in the meantime the premises were used as a fitness and boxing club. This design program raises the question of a new concept of use and its design for the attractive premises “under level”. The aim was to exploit the potential of the available space and to place the use in a meaningful connection with the existing building fabric. Coming from the main entrance, the visitor is led via a foyer to the main staircase, which leads directly into the lowered hall space. This is surrounded on three sides by galleries and the view is always directed towards the stage.


If one considers the designs surrounding the revitalization of the former MalaStrana theater, one cannot help but marvel at the immense variety of possible uses. On the one hand, the former theater premises are transformed into a structure of unheated market passages and green courtyards, and on the other hand, a fitness center is suddenly combined with a cultural program, thus creating a hitherto completely unknown symbiosis of initially diametrically opposed fields of activity.

The former theater below street level, which has remained in the twilight until today, thus abruptly becomes the projection background for a multitude of sometimes daring approaches within the framework of the project. The former place of display is itself laid bare and open, dissected and analyzed. It is finally thrown back to its pure matter under the eyes and hands of the individual project workers. A substance that is now to be “inspired” through play. The space seems to have experienced a kind of neutralization due to its long vacancy, which now opens the gates to something new.

In any case, it is obvious that the rediscovered volume of space is mainly intended for the public within the framework of the designs. It is the idea of a “space for all” that is to be opened up and ultimately experienced. To consider the rules of this use is part of the individual projects and the project design is usually the manifestation of this devised set of rules.
Such an approach clearly does not stop at the walls of a room, not even a theater room. It almost programmatically demands to consider the surrounding spaces, even the nearby district, and to think about possible changes, even if vehement changes that might even seem unrealistic would be necessary.

The vacancy thus releases visions that no longer remain in the auditorium space assigned to it, but rather grow beyond it and intend to reformulate the place as a whole.