An old electric power station has been transformed into a Cinema Lumière complex in the Dutch city of Maastricht, complete with a café in its machine hall.
The dilapidated brick boiler houses have been turned into six ‘stacked’ cinemas. JHK and Verlaan & Bouwstra Architecten stripped out the damaged masonry, and dug basements beneath the structures to create space for the ‘box-within-a-box’ seating, which accommodates 500 people. They then re-bricked the volumes, adding insulation and soundproofing.
In the old machine hall, the café and restaurant still bear the traces of the building’s past life. Masonry foundations that once anchored the old steam machines to the floor have been retained, and now act as an informal division between the kitchen and bar.
The listed building’s trussed ceiling, pipe work and some of its historical fixtures – including enormous windows – have also been left in place, offset by umbrella-style lighting suspended from rails above wooden tables and chairs. Elsewhere theatre spotlights have been installed in homage to the building’s new role.
An old carpentry workshop has been repurposed as the complex’s light-filled entrance hall, with wood panelling that riffs on the space’s history.
Cinema Lumière is the centrepiece of the Belvédère Binnensingel regeneration project, transforming the former industrial enclave of the city around its basin.
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