Germany (Hildesheim) | Public Buildings | noraplan® unita

Theatre for Lower Saxony: Enjoying Culture In A Magnificent Environment

The noraplan® unita rubber flooring is an essential part of the design concept

Clear the stage – following extensive renovation work, the Theatre for Lower Saxony (TfN) in Hildesheim has been shining in new splendour since November 2019. Over the course of the two-year project, the interior of both auditoriums was completely rebuilt within the existing supporting structure. Once that had been achieved, the walls were clad and new seating, a new ventilation system, new fire protection technology and a new floor covering were installed. The design concept was created by the Color Concept Lab office. Founder Benyamin Hey and Markus Schlegel, at the same time resident professor of the Faculty of Design and Color Design of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) in Hildesheim, gave the previously modestly decorated theatre a glamorous look. Thanks to an innovative weaving technique, the orange and red tones of the new upholstery appear to glow in different shades of gold. To complement this effect, the walls received a gold-bronze coating and the spotlights set in the green-painted domed ceiling are reminiscent of a starry sky. The noraplan® unita rubber flooring, which was installed in the hall, foyer, auditorium, stairs and passageways, blends perfectly into the striking design concept. The granite chips embedded in the flooring reflect the light in all its facets, making the floor an intrinsic part of the interior design scheme. In the foyer on the first floor, a hand-cut rosette inlay in graduated, elegant shades of grey is an attractive eye-catcher. In addition to its unique design, the rubber floor covering has also improved the building’s acoustic qualities.

Authentic material with exceptional effects

The three-tier TfN is the fourth largest theatre in Lower Saxony and presents everything from plays and operas to musicals for adults and children. The building was constructed more than 100 years ago by renowned theatre builder Max Littmann. “Theatre is a special type of cultural experience where visitors expect a sophisticated, festive setting,” Schlegel observed. The design concept honours this aspiration and places historically based design elements and colour settings in a time-related context. “The future can only be built on the past – we wanted to combine the past with future-proof products and accordingly selected high-quality finishing materials, surfaces and design technologies.” When it came to the interior design, the planners and the building’s owners gbg Immobilien GmbH placed great emphasis on highquality materials. Schlegel, Hey and architect Adrian Dams (gbg project manager) were all in agreement: “In terms of flooring, we chose rubber because this is an authentic material. nora floors have a deserved reputation for timeless design and noraplan unita proved well suited to the design concept thanks to the glamorous effect.” noraplan unita was installed in various shades of brown. The floor has a lighter shade in the corridors and the foyer, while a darker tone was selected for the auditorium. The floor covering was installed on the stair treads in anthracite. “Thanks to the joint-free installation, noraplan unita has the calming and minimalist appearance of a modern concrete floor, but the granite chips also add a note of vibrancy, making it an integral part of the architecture,” Hey added. The inlay cut from the floor covering in a rosette shape echos the ceiling design of the foyer. “Depending on the function and mood of the specific space, the decorative elements serve to relax or add drama and help the eye orientate itself”, Hey explained.

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Rubber floors minimise reverberation

The main focus of the renovation work was to create good acoustics. The fact that TfN is used not just as a theatre but also as a concert and musical hall made the requirements complex. For this reason, an acoustic report was drawn up at the beginning of the renovation project and materials were selected accordingly. The choice of floor covering has a significant effect on the acoustic properties of any space. “Thanks to their permanent elasticity, rubber floors reduce reverberation, which is why nora floors were ideal in this respect,” said Schlegel. The floor coverings contribute to a good listening experience no matter what event is being staged. Speech intelligibility is excellent throughout the auditorium with actors having no problem reaching the back rows. Because the permanent elasticity of the new rubber floors reduces the sound of footfall, they also minimise potential disturbances caused by people arriving late or leaving the auditorium during a performance.

Since the renovation was completed, the Theatre for Lower Saxony can now offer visitors an outstanding experience in every respect, to which the unique design of the noraplan unita flooring makes an active contribution.

Data and facts

Building Theater für Niedersachsen (TfN)
Owner gbg Immobilien GmbH, Hildesheim
Installation Year 2019
Photographer Elmar Witt
Design concept Color Concept Lab, Hannover
Installer

Elsner GmbH, Northeim; Bokelmann GmbH, Hildesheim

Products

noraplan® unita, approx. 2,200 m²

Products

noraplan® unita

Rubber floor covering with a perfect combination of permanently resilient rubber and randomly dispersed granite chips. The fine scatter of chips in noraplan® unita lends it a discreet appearance. The design is deliberately purist and simple.

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