Within a historic quarter of Bucharest, this project transforms a dilapidated plot into the first independent theater in the city since 1946. It will house a theater company that has been operating without a dedicated space since 1999, anchoring a cultural institute into the city fabric it wishes to engage. An initial design proposal envisions placing the 150-seat theater below ground and maintaining the façades of the existing buildings on the plot within a slim volume.
The jury was moved not by the project’s engagement with architecture or materials but by its strong statement on the cultural component of sustainability. The project’s use as an independent theater – a cultural program that also acts as a stage for democracy – was only strengthened by the community support shown through collective funding. From this firm social basis, the jury noted that the project was not yet architecturally convincing and that it is the hope that the support of the award can contribute to motivation to find an architectural solution as enlightened as the program.