open urban system for performing arts - Villacidro ITA


The Hortus Artis will be the stage for a virtuous circle between Programmatic Flexibility, Multiple Performances and a lively public domain.

In doing so it guarantees the maximum permeability of the site, with is now ready to pass from bishops' private orchard to a new inviting public garden.

Therefore the south east end of the site opens up with a new square, the northern edge hosts a linear degrading public space, and the historical orchard is articulated in a rich series of programmatic platforms, including outdoor tribunes for open air shows, water basins,  playgrounds, and community gardens.


The traditional typology of the theater tends to a closed and introverse configuration, centered on the main hall. According to the intention of maximizing flexibility and promoting diverse uses for the civic centre, we propose to open up the typology to a more direct and positive relationship to the garden.

Thus we pass from a mono-centred, highly hierarchical building to a more plural and open urban system.

So the three main sections of the program 1) the public front of the house, 2) the multipurpose hall, 3) the backstage and workshop area, become three independent volumes, that can be individually activated at any given occasion. 

They preserve a strong connection to each other, while expanding the surface of relationship to the outdoor space, including the garden in the life of the civic centre. Each volume facade features wide portions that can be opened to the outside, and are realized in corrugated metal panels recalling the rich folds of stage-curtains.

The result will be an active and lively virtuous circle, a system of mutual enrichment between the park and the public institution.

The room is equipped with devices to allow different configurations of the stage:

-- floor height adjustable by mechanical lifting system (4 sectors) -- ceiling equipped with elements for vertical partition -- retractable seats in the storage wall -- ceiling walkways for installation of lights and scenic devices on the whole surface -- openable portions in the wall towards the orchards to allow construction and performance of indoor/outdoor shows

The high flexibility of the hall eases an optimization of resources and fosters the implementation of different kinds of shows (theater, music, cinema, ballet, conferences, fashion shows, workshops ....)

the linear foyer 

From the caffetteria- bookshop, the linear foyer leads the audience to the hall. This multileveled space is the architectural promenade towards the main theatrical machine.

The linear stretch of the foyer space allows simultaneous activation of multiple accesses in every possible configuration of the multipurpose room.

The room remains the crucial meeting point for the systems of vertical connections.

A lift connects the three levels of the area dedicated to the public: the floor of the entrance and cafeteria, the linear foyer at the first floor, the second level of seatings.

Spaces for technicians and actors are connected by a elevator-lift, connecting the loading area of the backstage) with the two levels of laboratories and dressing rooms