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​Pathé Leeuwarden

Location: Leeuwarden

Client: Pathé Theatres BV

Facade: WAM architecten, EUP design

Phase: Construction completed

With its existing theatre and new pop podium, the Ruiterskwartier district is rapidly evolving into the cultural heart of Leeuwarden. To make a valuable addition to this colourful area, EUP design created a design for a new Pathé cinema.


In 2012, we started an investigation into the possibilities for realising a cinema within the Ruiterskwartier district of Leeuwarden. In close collaboration with the municipality, we have drawn up the urban preconditions for the integration of the cinema.


The starting point was to fit the building into a series of large urban volumes, located between De Harmonie theatre and the court. In addition, an image quality plan was created, upon which we further developed the cinema.


Closed vs. open

The layout of the cinema is characterised by an alternation of confined spaces and open, transparent sections. The auditoriums, emergency routes, toilets, installation, and storage areas are closed, while the entrance, shop and foyers are open. This layout reflects the core vision of our design: to create a visitors’ route that becomes increasingly enclosed from entrance to auditorium, and increasingly opens up in the opposite direction.


We translated this idea into a volume that consists of a partially open monolithic mass—hollowed out, as it were. The mass represents the closed layout of the cinema, with open spaces wherever the layout allows. With this approach we create spatial relationships between the central layout of the cinema, the auditoriums, and the city. A glass shell separates the open space from the outdoors.


In cooperation with WAM architects, we extended this concept to the facade design. The outside of the brick volume from Zaailand towards Ruiterkwartier has a somewhat freer design.

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