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Kazakh Drama Theater, sketch-idea, International Contest
Location: Turkestan
Design: 2018
 
Turkestan will be the main tourist attraction of Kazakhstan in the coming years as the city steeped in millennial history and the new administrative center of the Turkestan Oblast, with this status awarded in 2018. In this context, the intensive expansion of the infrastructure of cultural institutions becomes the important aspect of the city development.
 
The basic idea of the architectural-artistic appearance as well as of the massing and spatial concept of the theater building is to create the architectural ensemble consisting of the main octagon in plan volume protecting the internal theatrical essence, as an organic shell protects the delicate and vulnerable soul, and the adjacent open space of the entrance unit, which looks in plan as 2 conjugated circles bounded by a colonnade of propylaeum. The entrance unit is symbolical of 2 united yurts - a foretype of the first Kazakh theater. The entrance unit accommodates the green folk avantheater, as well as the recreation area with the summertime cafe, softscape and fountains. The architectural composition of the external volume proposes that the building be open on all sides and fit harmoniously into the surrounding streetscape.
 
According to legend, Enlik-Kebek theater play by Kazakh author Mukhtar Auezov was first staged in 1917 by the amateur theater in the yurt (actually consisting of 2 yurts) of Aygerim, the widow of the Kazakh poet Abay Kunanbayev. The larger yurt included seats for spectators and the stage, while the other yourt served as a backstage area for actors. Since then the play does not leave the Kazakh scene. Thus, the design originators have found inspiration in the Shakespeare Theater (1599) and the first Kazakh theater (1917).
 
The building layout is distinctively divided into the major areas required by the project-specific technology, and includes the following: suite of spectator rooms with 400-seat auditorium, suite of backstage dressing rooms, theater workshops and dead storages.