Here, the architecture stars as the main act: a huge concrete canopy falls in a steep curve onto the stage, lobby and auditorium. It is only 12 centimetres thick but weighs almost 1000 tonnes. That was a world first. The fondness for architectural experimentation reflected the progressive approach of the municipal theatre: as a typical child of the sixties, it aimed to create an open, interdisciplinary "theatre landscape" that also appealed to an audience beyond the elites. There are no boxes. The slightly curved rows and tightly spaced seats were intended to strengthen the sense of community. It took an epic 12 years from design to the official opening in October 1975. To mark the occasion, a theatre market was held throughout the building. 15,000 people attended the spectacle. Today, Theater Basel is not only considered Basel's most important cultural building in the 20th century, but also one of the leading multi-genre theatres in Europe. In 2020, the spacious lobby was transformed into a public meeting space, named Foyer Public.
For more information about Brutalist buildings in Basel, visit heartbrut.com