HAKUNA MATATA Theater Village

Lingyu Li, Jingyu Zhang, Rui Cai
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
United States of America

Project idea

The project respects the spirit of African culture. THÉÂTRE POPULAIRE DÉSIRÉ BONOGO as the project is a place of versatility that allows people to stay in as an inhabitable shelter.

Project description

The main theater is the heart of the project. It is designed in the center to ensure accessibility from other areas with different programs. The inner part of the theater is a stage which is considered as the work area. The stage strongly respects the existing structures. The stage used the same form of depth with walkable structure and poles for monitor, curtain, and projector. The theater geographically connects to each space of utility in a short distance with easy accessibility.

Beyond the stage, the show area is a place of mixed programs. The auditorium connects to the stage naturally with seating. All the areas are covered as pavilions, and these spaces are oriented flexibly but strongly associated with the central stage. All the space of accessories such as showroom, café, and restaurant serves the center – the stage. That way creates a system of inner communication.
Labo is a space of resources. The teaching space is independent compare to other spaces, yet not isolated. The view isn’t blocked in the teaching area, but it is screened naturally by pathways. The pathway to the main area is convenient, but it requires a little distance that gives privacy to the teaching area.

The material of the roof was chosen carefully. Thatch and cloth are two major materials used in this case. The combination allows natural ventilation through the roof. The shadow cast by the roof would be enough enjoyment during summer. The material is an ode to traditional African architecture, and it is respectful to local resources.
The project respects and demonstrates the culture of Africa. The cohesive atmosphere is one of the main concepts of the project. This space is an opportunity for people gathering and staying together as an architectural landmark.

There is a specific design for gender equity. In public space, the female restroom normally suffered from overwhelming capacity. In the theater, the female restroom is specifically designed to fit more people using it at the same time to reduce people’s flow with the unwanted overwhelming crowd for women.

Community benefits:

As the refurbished center of the community, the project positively affects surrounding objects. Within the complex urban context, the theater brings new energy to the community. Unlike conventional landmarks like sculptures, it is a usable landmark of people. An unfixed and semi-opening design allows people to pass through, which are desire paths for people.

Water - as a precious resource is one of the considerations in the project. There are some solutions to water runoff. The water channels on the ground are applied to all structures. Each roof has specific angles due to different landforms. These set-up angles allow water flows into water channels. The water can be collected and use for other purposes overall.

Technical information

The WORK area ( area dimension, maximum height, minimum height)
• the stage: 250m2 8.19m 3.90m
• the backstage for 20 performers (dressing rooms, restrooms, showers,
mirrors)177.8m2 6.3m 4m
• a meeting room with a kitchenette 229m2 6.5m 3.5m
• a room for technicians 80.22m2 4.3m 3.0m
• an open terrace with access to the open-air 707.61m2 6.8m 3.6m
• a room for construction and storage for stage sets 303m2 3.6m 3m
• a room and workshop for repair and storage of technical equipment 77.30m2 5m 3.7m
• a sewing workshop 88.31m2 3.7m 3m
• a truck access
• a technical cabin room 72.11m2 3.8m 3m
• a garage parking 618.69m2
The SHOW area
• the auditorium with existing stage, 1746.32m2 18m 3.90m
• points of sale for tickets, 50.81m2 5.0m 3.3m
• seating 1019.85m2 7.5m
• a space of conviviality 358.98m2 3.2m 4.8m
• place for temporary stalls 155.09m2 6m 3m
• Advertising and signage
The LABO area
• a modular media room 88.31m2 5.3m 3.4m
• 4 educational spaces (150m2 minimum) dedicated to teaching different
artistic disciplines (dance, theatre, music, circus, and puppets)
d:337.99m2 5.8m 3.3m
t:261.91m2 5.4m 3m
m:125.95m2 4.1m 3.6m
c:152.81m2 5m 3.2m
p:88.82m2 5.3m 4.4m
• a co-working space 179.12m2 5.5m 3.3m
• an archive room 77.30m2 3.5m 4m
• a music recording studio 61.59m2 3.7m 3.2m
• a photo studio and a video editing room. 168.54m2 5m 3.3m
female toilet (1)64.51m2 4.2m 3m
(2)41.69m2 3.4m 3m
(3)37.16m2 3.2m 4m
male toilet(1) 34.31m2 3.4m 3m
(2) 42.12m2 5m 4m


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