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Neuquén City Theatre at Central Park Cultural Complex

City of Neuquén, Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina

Status: Schematic Design, National Competition Entry, Awarded 2nd Prize

Construction Budget: $4,500,000

Design: Claudio Vekstein, Arch

Design Assistants: John Borowicz, Pablo Peirano, Guadalupe Sobral, Matias Lien Benitez, Renders: Atilio Pentimalli, Archs

Client: Municipality of Neuquén, Mayor: Martín Farizano

Location: City of Neuquén, Neuquén Province, Patagonia, Argentina

Area: 48,500 sf

With a growing visual and performing arts culture in Neuquén, Argentina but no central theatre, the Municipality of Neuquén commissioned a Performing Arts complex to consolidate and celebrate its rich cultural identity under one roof. The result is the design and construction of a 1200-seat theatre with an auxiliary 350-seat black box in the west sector of the Central Park of the city to promote awareness of the cultural legacy and facilitate social and political interaction through the performing arts venue.

The theatrical object explores the integration of scenic arts and cultural heritage of the region into an urban overwhelming form. Native statuary, textile patterning, and the arid 'bardas' landscape that surround the City inform the solid geometric formation and express by the predominant building material of the region, the concrete, a tectonic homogeneity and spatial virulence. The programmatic internal spaces are treated like mere voids carved in the mass, which is actualized and integrated by a grand serpentine ramp throughout the whole volume, delineating public trajectories but also revealing intimate stage machineries in between theatre and service spaces.