top of page

Theater - Garden


Architectural concept for Kamal Theatre
69 893 m²
Kazan, Russia
Consortium: Novikov Architects Studio /Rossia/ +
Borgos Pieper /Spain/ + Theatre Projects /France/ 
Guest architects: James O’Callaghan (Eckersley O’Callaghan), Claude Engle IV (Claude R. Engle Lighting),
Kostis Lysikatos (Buro Happold), Ksenia Shachneva,
Alexandra Karyagina, Sergey Murzov (Park-service),
Irshat Shigapov (Kazan Federal University)

Historically  Kazan theatres often used to be located in urban gardens, for instance, such as in the Hermitage Garden, Panaevsky Garden, Arcadia Garden. Our design would develop this Kazan tradition and we would strive to create not just a monumental theater building, but to integrate it into the urban garden and landscape art. We propose the IDEA of THEATRE-GARDEN and it is:
not a theater IN a garden,
not a garden AT the theater,

It is a very important link with the garden in our design not only in terms of the historical landscape identity, but also in relation to the Tatar culture and its symbolic meaning in the Oriental world.
In the Qur’an, Jannat are the Gardens of Eden with springs, canals and ponds. In Spain in the Alhambra and the Generalife the garden is also a projection of Paradise on the Earth, as in the gardens of the mausoleum of the great Moghuls of India (Taj Mahal) and in the gardens of Iran, such as Bag-i-Fin and Shehel Sutun.
We have to grow our own National Garden Theatre. Theater grows where there is an opportunity to grow. Legible from the Space, the shape of the theater building resembles the outline of a tree leaf -recognizable image for tourists and theater goers.

Historical continuity
Simplicity! - is a unique quality of Tatar architecture, which distinguishes it from the architecture of the European cities. There were no large public buildings with complex architectural design in Zabulache and Zakabanye, where the Tatar population historically used to live. Therefore the design of the theater facade facing the lake is clear with simple shape and plasticity which resembles the folds of a theatrical curtain or the waves of water.
Although the Tatar architecture is presented in very simple shape it is combined with very decorative, patterned surfaces. We unmistakably recognize the Tatar urban architecture by the decor of the triangular fronton or by the carved window frames and its shutters.
Talking about that, we will not take the liberty nor even have the right to interpret Tatar ornaments, saying it is the new identity of the Tatar theater and Tatar architecture. Therefore, we present the space of the main Theatre foyer with three «bowls» of theater halls, with smooth surfaces covered with wood and brass, as an unfinished canvas that awaits its future artists.

Variety and flexibility 
Since its foundation in the early twentieth century, the Tatar Theater has been a wandering truepe, open to changing venues in different buildings and cities. The first theatrical Tatar troupe was called «Sayar» that means «wanderer» or «moving forward».
The Tatar Theater had no history of classical theater, it was born and grew in the years of global changes, in the era of art nouveau and the rise of creative artists. Playwrights were looking for something new, they tried to experiment and introduce something new into the theater, directors created collaborations and invited leading artists to work together.

Over the past hundred years, the image of the Tatar Theater has changed at least three times. From the initial image of ​​the Tatar theater as a folk theater that brings art and culture to distant places, temporarily remaining in one home, usually it was an ordinary building on the street front. Further to the classical image of the theater with columns and a portico of the Stalinist Empire style (the building of the Tatar Theater named after Musa Jalil). And the last symbolic metamorphosis of the existing building from the modernist standard project, which over time began to be perceived by the audience, speaking and thinking in the Tatar language, as “their home”.
Creating an image, we are looking for the deep national meanings in the Tatar theater and we believe that the best architecture generates genuine national images!


bottom of page