Pilsen, some 90 km southwest of the Czech Republic capital Prague, has been named European Capital of Culture 2015. The opening of Pilsen’s New Theater (Nové Divadlo) marked the start of the city’s theatrical season. This attractive building is the only new theater to have been built in the Czech Republic during the last 30 years. The four ensembles of the J. K. Tyl Theater in Pilsen have been performing in two theater buildings since September 2014 – the Neo-Renaissance Great Theater dating from the year 1902 and the recently opened New Theater.

Pilsen has a long theatrical tradition

On the threshold of its 150th season, the permanent Czech theater landscape in Prague is to witness a truly historic event. 112 years after completion of Pilsen’s historic Grand Theater, the city famous for its theatrical tradition has opened a new tabernacle dedicated not only to Thalia, but also to her sisters Melpomene, Terpsichore, Euterpe and Polyhymnia, as the multi-genre dramaturgy of the J. K. Tyl Theater falls under the patronage of all these muses.

Big opera repertoire

The new building, equipped with state-of-the-art theater technology, is a symbol of the 21st century. Besides the main theater hall with its huge stage and elegant auditorium for 461 spectators, the new building also houses the 150-seat Small Stage. The New Theater was opened officially to the public on September 1, 2014 with a new production of The Bartered Bride.

You can have your pick of the current opera repertoire: The Bartered Bride by Smetana, The Tales of Hoffman, The Soldier and the Dancer by Bohuslav Martinů, La Traviata and Tosca. A new production of Verdi´s Aida premieres in October. The ballet Cinderella with music by Sergei Prokofiev was on, and from November Khachaturian´s ballet Spartacus is being staged. In March, a ballet interpretation of the story of Anna Karenina accompanied by the music of Dmitri Shostakovich will open in the New Theater.

Construction period

But this extraordinary new building first had to be constructed. It consists of two separate interconnected objects, immediately appealing to the eye with their exterior made with deep red Colorcrete (R) concrete, supplied by TBG Plzeň Transportbeton, a member of the Českomoravský group, which supplied all other transit monolithic construction and flooring materials, including the "bubble façade” of the theater building, which contains the main entrance. The building support system consists of a monolithic spatial structure of reinforced concrete walls, slabs and columns.

Colored concrete

To achieve the desired color on the concrete required 35 kg per 1 m3 of pigment concrete mix, which was specially formulated for these specific solutions using the products Sika ColorFlo® (liquid pigments), Sika® ViscoCrete and SikaFume®. For the facade joint were used PU sealant Sika Hyflex-250 Facade in special red color and for the basement Sika®-Waterbars were used.

Concrete designed for architectural needs

All in all, the new theatre differs markedly from other buildings owing to its facade of red cast architectural concrete, spanning a total of 3,500 m2. The red facade consists of glass surface-frosted black etched glass (1,600 m2) and a titanium-zinc surface. Based on the architect’s specifications, the concrete formulation was adapted to the corresponding color shade.

The Capital of Culture will profit

The multifunctional building is designed to host drama and musicals, as well as operas and ballets. So this Capital of Culture 2015 can show more than its favorite drinks to its visitors. Though going to the opera and afterwards having a traditional Pils beer in a cosy bar sounds very nice…

Visit the project on the Czeck website
Have a first taste of the Capital of Culture Pilsen