Arada reveals its new performing arts center ‘Il Teatro’ at Aljada

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Il Teatro at Aljada
Rep.Image | Courtesy: WAM

Arada, the master developer behind Aljada, has revealed the designs of Il Teatro’s striking structure, which will anchor the community’s Naseej cultural district.

The Japanese architect Mr. Tadao Ando has been named the designer of Il Teatro, a new performing arts center that will play a prominent role in Sharjah’s largest lifestyle community, Aljada.

A fully-fledged cultural complex spread over 260,000 square feet, Il Teatro at Aljada and its surrounding plaza will host various performances and shows, including opera, theatre, dance, ballet, musicals, concerts, films, art exhibitions, and festivals. With a 2,000-seat auditorium, Il Teatro will also incorporate a gallery and boutique restaurant.

Featuring Ando’s trademark architectural simplicity, the design for Il Teatro consists of a pure, cylindrical concrete mass facing a multi-layered cultural plaza. Il Teatro is further defined by a dramatic secondary feature: a large, arched opening that enlivens the front of the building, forming a strong connection between its interior and exterior.

The plaza is an elevated public space spread over two levels that floats above a water feature and contains a large outdoor amphitheatre that faces Il Teatro. Brought to life by a series of events and activities, the plaza will also provide a multi-dimensional experience designed to inspire local artists and the growing creative community in the UAE.

Winner of the Pritzker Prize in 1995, Ando is one of the world’s most celebrated architects, whose dedication to the beauty of simplistic design has been incorporated into his major works, which include the Church of the Light in Osaka, Azuma House in Sumiyoshi, and the Chichu Art Museum.

Il Teatro is the second of Ando’s projects in the UAE, following the Armani Beach Residences at Palm Jumeirah, also in partnership with Arada, announced earlier this year.

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal_Arada reveals Il Teatro at Aljada
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal
Vice Chairman

“Il Teatro at Aljada represents an impressive new attraction for Sharjah and the wider UAE. It adds significantly to the list of museums, galleries, entertainment venues, and other cultural spaces for which Sharjah is already well-known. We are extremely proud to be working with Tadao Ando, who has a long record of designing exceptional public spaces that enthrall and engage their visitors, and we look forward to working with him to bring his vision to life.”

Mr. Ando, Founder of Tadao Ando Architects Associates, said that “Il Teatro at Aljada will leave a lasting, intergenerational impact through its emphasis on culture and art. I have designed the central structure of the building to be round like the Earth as I wanted to create a new world inside it that will attract not only local people but visitors from around the globe.”

Mr. Elie Mrad, Chief Architectural Officer, Arada, stated that “Tadao Ando’s style neatly incorporates a range of natural elements including stone, concrete, light, and water, all of which combine to represent the beauty of simplicity. That approach has been captured in the design for Il Teatro and its surrounding plaza, which will act as a sociocultural meeting place for everyone.

Il Teatro occupies a prime position within Aljada, on the main access road into the master community. It also sits at the centre of the Naseej creative district, a cluster of 19 buildings incorporating the Vida Aljada hotel and branded apartments complex, which Emaar Hospitality will operate.

Residents in the creative district can enjoy access to Il Teatro via two “green spines” or urban parks that contain lush foliage and dense tree coverage, with workshops, artist studios, and cafes facing the parks on both sides. Those living in the neighborhood will also enjoy a rich calendar of events, activations, performances, and exhibitions, all just a short walk away from their front door.

Related News | Arada awards $108mn contract to build its Nasaq District at Aljada