Stara Zagora Experimental Puppetry Art Centre
Year: 2023
Collaboration with: Chai Yi Yang

With its rich history since 1970s, the original Stara Zagora Puppet Theatre has reached the fringe for renewal and expansion- to bridge the puppetry as an artorm with the contemporary era. We envisage the extension of the new theatre as a vessel to explore growing possibilites of puppetry and other art forms
in Stara Zagora. Hence, the project revolves around the key design queston: what could be the future of a puppet theatre considering its artstc potental in the acceleratng modernity?

To imagine the new State Puppet Theatre as a cultural destnaton and an experimental emblem for various performance arts, we thought about a phenomenal experience unfolded but masked in a folded envelope. The architecture is dressed in almost pure geometry and warm texture, yet the transitons to interior realm are becoming more theatrical with the juxtapositon of folding planes to create spatal division in mysterious yet seamless foil. Analogous to the suspension of puppetry performance, such design of multlayered transiton accentuates the dramatc sense of contrast which is of the essence of theatre typology and performance-based programmes.

From a larger scale of the context, the puppet theatre of its pure appearance is an unorthodox and provocatve existence to its amiable surrounding, drawing curiosity from the immediate passerby. Whereas from an intmate scale, the spatal threshold dramatcally changes to lead the visitors from one space to another- following its diagonal walls, slanted ceilings, opening cutout and eventually to the pivotal main hall. The puppet theatre is designed in a gesture of folding to remain an introverted composure, while the culture of puppetry performance is revitalized as the spaces unfold. It is therefore a full artstc experience span across not only the dimension of puppetry arts and other types of art forms, but also the architecture and its built environment in Stara Zagora.

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