Kilden performing arts centre by ALA architects

Designed by Finnish architects ALA, the Kilden performing arts centre in Kristiansand in Norway, opened in January.

The main characteristic of the building is the curving wooden wall across the entrance that projects out towards the harbor.

Photographers Hufton + Crow

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (1)

The performing arts centre consists of the entrance lobby that spans the length of the building, the 1200-seat auditorium, the 750-seat theater and two smaller halls. The workshops, staff rooms and storage areas are located to the rear of the halls.

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (8)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (10)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (9)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (7)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (6)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (5)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (4)

Photography is by Hufton + Crow. (3)

via dezeen

source ALA

A full project description from ALA Architects:

“KILDEN”, Performing Arts Center for Sørlandet


The Performing Arts Centre “KILDEN” will house three organizations: the ‘Agder Theater’, the ‘Kristiansand Philharmonic’ and the ‘Opera South’.

The four performance halls are lined up in the mid-zone of the building leaving the production -spaces to the east and audience -spaces to the west side.

Further on the west along the waterside, a huge cantilevered roof will cover both the public city-space by the sea and the foyer space which provides access to the shows.

Waterfront-facade clad with local oak follows the forms defined by the halls and creates a surface separating real world from the illusional.


The urban character of the new theatre- and concert hall building should not only express the functionality of the project. The building will have a major impact on the cultural identity of the city of Kristiansand and the whole region. The architectural expression has to be instantly recognisable and unique. There is a strong demand for a cultural landmark building.

Often in theatres the fly tower reflects the buildings function, acting simultaneously as a landmark. On this shore the role of the tower has already been taken by the silo. The signature image of the performing arts centre should be built with other means.

The main concept of the Teater- og Konserthus design is the series of performance spaces, which has been shaped out to act as a sign in the cityscape. This undulating, unified surface forms a dramatic lobby and foyer between the performance halls and the shoreline. The relationship of the building with the canal and the sea has strong tension and drama.


The undulating main façade acts as a surface separating reality from fantasy. This line is crossed as you step into the hall from the foyer. The other façades consist of a vertical folded surface giving the building a subdued elegant form, enhancing the foyer wall as the signifying form of the building. The audience is instinctively drawn towards the public foyer. The building has a desire to please the public, to be popular and understandable to everybody.

The foyer wall is built of local wood, most likely oak. This further emphasises the warm, inviting character of the foyer space. The vertically folded dark facades are made of sharply detailed, stained metal sheets, most likely of brass or copper.

The building is a sharp object with an almost exaggerated clarity of expression. It stands proudly in the rough industrial surroundings. The building creates elegant public and performing spaces and rough, functional production facilities. All this is combined into a shape of an elegant machine –a building as an instrument.