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Jirásek Theatre Reconstruction, Česká Lípa, Czech Republic by Adam Rujbr Architects

Project name:
Jirásek Theatre Reconstruction
Architecture firm:
Adam Rujbr Architects
Panská 219, Česká Lípa, Czech Republic
Principal architect:
Adam Rujbr
Design team:
Chief project engineer: Michal Surka. Interior: Michaela Bastlová. Architect, engineer: Aleš Chlád. Architects: Monika Prostředníková, Kateřina Gayerová. Author’s supervision: Klára Jansová
Construction project: Vlastimil Čegan. Landscape project: Lucie Tlustá. Realization: Metrostav
Built area:
Built-up area 1205 m², Gross floor area 3295 m², Usable floor area 2406 m²
Site area:
2366 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Interior design:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Tools used:
Masonry – existing walls. Stone – discovered and restored starcaise. Concrete – entrances, ceiling of the extension. Steel – construction of the auditorium. Wood – ceiling above the upper foyer, restored original beams, roof. Glass – artwork by Jitka Skuhravá, door in the passage, railings. LTD – furniture by author’s design
Town of Česká Lípa
Cultural Architecture > Theater

Adam Rujbr Architects: The theatre has undergone a large-scale reconstruction, which not only changed the position of the main entrance, but also completely redesigned its internal layout. The new main entrance and the café on Panská Street have enlivened the historic centre, especially in the early evening. The high-quality public space in Jirásek Street and the practical pedestrian connection between Jirásek and Panská Street have raised the stature of this part of the town.

The theatre building has a rich history, dating back to the 14th century, and has served as a theatre space since 1932, after successive reconstructions. The reconstruction has given it a new dignified entrance, which is connected to the town square, and has made it fully accessible to the disabled. With the addition of the north and south foyers, connected outside the main hall, the building has been given new functional elements. The orchestra pit has been restored, and the auditorium has been given a higher elevation for better visibility and more comfortable seating. There are new dressing rooms, a rehearsal room, costume storage, a club room for smaller performances, and part of the ground floor was converted into a café.

To increase the capacity, the hall's roof was raised by one storey, allowing the addition of a second balcony. After the reconstruction, the auditorium can now host 371 people. On the ground floor of the four-storey building, there are entrance areas, a theatre café, and technical facilities. On the second floor are the two foyers and the main hall. One floor above are the actors' dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, and a small attic hall for school and small group programs.

The main entrance from Panská Street leads to a two-storey foyer with a significant spiral staircase and artwork by the glass studio of Jitka Skuhrava. The secondary entrance from Jiráskova Street has a similar combination of faced concrete and large glass surfaces as the main one, and the adjacent foyer serves as a multifunctional space for small performances, concerts, or lectures. During construction, the staircase to the basement was discovered and restored using saved stone steps. The original wooden ceiling beams in the upper foyer were restored and now form the impressive ceiling structure of the south foyer. Overall, the new theatre combines history with modernity, genius loci with contemporary technology, offers representative spaces, and serves as an important cultural centre of Česká Lípa.

Additional information

During the construction, several elements were discovered and it was decided to preserve them. In addition to the restored staircase to the basement and the wooden ceiling beams, historic foundation stones were incorporated into the structure and now decorate the interior of the café. In the lounge, the original masonry was cleaned and preserved. Another one of the objects preserved and restored is the chandelier above the auditorium, which, after its complete renovation, dominates the starry sky. Wall lights from the auditorium were cleaned and used on the walls of the upper foyer and dressing room.

The unifying element of the entire design is the oxblood colour that decorated the original auditorium of the theatre. It can be found in various rooms on different surfaces and objects throughout the building. The clubroom wall is decorated with wallpaper with the theme of paintings found in the original theatre building.

About studio / author

Adam Rujbr Architects is a studio of architects and engineers with international experience. The offices of Adam Rujbr Architects are located in Prague and Brno. The studio started its activity in 2004. Since the beginning, it has been profiling as a specialist in buildings for culture and housing. Since 2010, another important specialization has been the construction of healthcare, social care, and depositories of historical heritage. Architects from Adam Rujbr Architects design buildings that are timeless, and friendly to their surroundings and to the users themselves. The portfolio includes new buildings and renovations as well. All Adam Rujbr Architects' projects are processed by BIM (Building Information Modeling). The clients include private domestic and foreign investors, public institutions, ministries, cities, and regions. Many works have been awarded, and many buildings have been published. Adam Rujbr Architects studio's buildings are published in Czech and foreign publications. Adam Rujbr Architects also pays attention to promoting sustainable architecture for the public, from 2016, the company has been a member of the Czech Green Building Council.

By Liliana Alvarez

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