The conversion of the Masrah Al Qasba Theater in Sharjah is the first project to be completed by Magma Architecture in the United Arab Emirates.
Visitors to the 300 seat auditorium find themselves wrapped in a sculpturally undulating space evoking recollections of the landscapes of Sharjah. Carefully concealed lighting elements shining through stretchable fabric surfaces enhance the spatial sensation of continuous enclosure. The Masrah Al Qasba Theater is shortlisted for the 2012 LEAF Awards.
The design of the Al Qasba auditorium refers to the nature of Sharjah as inspiration and suggests an inverted, fully enclosing scenographic landscape. Undulating surfaces with light strips on fold lines scatter across the ceiling evoking images of evening sun streaking sand dunes.
The design enables illuminating the space without blinding the visitors with lights. Placed on the inclined ceiling surfaces facing the stage the auditorium lights remain invisible from the spectator seats. Additional spotlights installed in the cracks in the surface can be switched off to create a softly dimmed illumination for lectures and talks.
Technical installations such as air conditioning, sound equipment, light fittings, electrical wiring and acoustic insulation are concealed behind the porous fabric surface. Maintenance spot lights and ventilation outlets and intakes are recessed in ceiling joints.
Photography by: Torsten Seidel