Paul de Ruiter

Bijlmer Parktheater

The power of the multi-cultural society

Bijlmer 0
Bijlmer 1
Bijlmer 2
Bijlmer 3
Bijlmer slider 0 0
Bijlmer slider 0 1
Bijlmer slider 0 2
Bijlmer slider 0 3
Bijlmer slider 0 4
1 / 9

In the spring of 2004, Paul de Ruiter Architects was commissioned to design a theatre in the Southeast district of Amsterdam. The Bijlmerpark Theatre was to be a multifunctional centre for four regular tenants: Circus Elleboog, Krater Theatre, the Youth Theatre School and the Theatre Workplace.

Public buildings

Elevating the neighbourhood

The urban development plan of the neighbourhood stipulated that the Bijlmerpark Theatre was to be located at the heart of the Bijlmer, adjacent to the Bijlmerpark and the new Anton de Komplein. By virtue of its location, the theatre stimulates the cultural and socio-economic developments in the surrounding area. It also establishes the starting point of a new cultural axis that connects the various cultural facilities of the outdoor entertainment centre ArenAPoort.

Elliptical shape

The building has a distinctive elliptical shape, and the upper floors are slightly displaced in relation to the floor below. This cantilever creates a covered entrance area. The shape of the building meant we had to find a financially viable way to reproduce this rounded form in the façade, which is partly made of glass. We found the solution by combining vertical wooden slats with corrugated steel.

During the day the theater stands out because of its shape, whereas in the evening it's catches your eye due to its color, which can be adjusted because of the application of LED.

Daylight in the main hall

The client emphasised the need for daylight in the main hall. Classes and rehearsals would take place here during the day, and a decent amount of daylight is of great importance for the atmosphere and sense of orientation. To this end, we created a glass surround on the first floor that runs all around the main hall. This solution lets in a maximal amount of light and allows parents and other interested parties to watch lessons and rehearsals unobtrusively. These windows can be darkened to keep out daylight during performances.

Project details


Gross floor area 2,010 m²
Project description Cultural building for theatre and circus performances, with studio's and offices
Start of design January 2005
Start of construction March 2007
Completion March 2009
Location Anton de Komplein, Amsterdam


Client Gemeente Amsterdam, Stadsdeel Zuidoost
Users Circus Elleboog, Jeugdtheaterschool Zuidoost, Theater Werkplaats Zuidoost, Krater Theater
Project architect Paul de Ruiter
Project team Roel Rutgers, Willem Jan Landman, Dieter Blok
Construction consultant Arup
Installations Halmos
Urban planning Rein Geurtsen & Partners bv bureau voor stadsontwerp & Mecanoo
Contractor Bouwbedrijf M.J. de Nijs en zn.
Acoustics consultant DHV-Dorsser Blesgraaf
Cost consultant Bouwhavens Consultants
Photography Pieter Kers

Share this page