Leietheater Deinze

The Leietheater is an ode to the work of the Luminist painters of Deinze. Six patterns in the brick facade enhance the contrasts between light and dark and enrich the characteristic silhouette of the building on the banks of the River Lys.

The Leietheater is an ode to the work of the Luminist painters of Deinze. Six patterns in the brick façade, from flat to three-dimensional, intensify the contrasts between light and dark. At night it undergoes a metamorphosis reflecting the soft moonlight. In a square floor plan, the programme is arranged around a foyer with monumental skylight. The theatre has a characteristic silhouette. The abstract but familiar appearance lights up in the city on the banks of the River Leie.

The Leietheater ‘takes a step aside’. The building plays a key role in defining the public space and making the heritage of Deinze visible again. TRANS V+ proposed an alternative site to the client during the competition phase. This move creates a large park that extends as far as the River Leie. In addition, the theatre was placed on important sight axes and was thus made present in the city.

The park was designed by Marie-Josée van Hee architecten and connects the theatre along the Administrative Centre, by Tony Fretton, with the centre square on the Leiebocht. This is also where the Stedelijke Academie appears, a place where young talent is trained and possibly finds their way back to the stage in the Leietheater.

In a square floor plan, the programme components are arranged around a central foyer with a monumental skylight. The foyer can be expanded by sliding the partition wall with the multifunctional hall away. With a café on the corner, the building activates the public domain in a place where otherwise, after the opening hours of the theatre, a pauze would arise in the urban dynamic. The auditorium with its theatre tower gives the building a characteristic silhouette.

The building has a relation to the long history of the region, it intervenes, but stays in the background. A brick building, a white dress with a shiny aluminium base, shapes the beating cultural heart of Deinze. The brick dress is made up of glazed and matt white stones in a pattern that is laid over the stack of volumes and, depending on the weather conditions, lights up softly or brightly. A silent gesture to Emiel Claus.
The building makes space not only for the theatre but for other functions as well. The foyer with the skylight is used as an event hall. It connects varying multifunctional spaces, sometimes equipped with a kitchen, that are used for meetings, lectures, gatherings. The sanitary facilities are supplied with rainwater from the roof by the rainwater purification system in three fases that collects the enormous amount of rainwater from the roof and makes it available for re-use.