Nested in the heart of Bukit Merah sits the Gateway Theatre, a multi-performance venue where users’ experience and social participation is priority. The front façade of gateway theatre opens up to the streets of Bukit Merah allowing passer-bys and residents to peer through as if inviting them into the building, giving it a sense of porosity and invitation. As the building houses several performance spaces, large crowd can be expected on certain days. Hence, traffic control is an important consideration.
Breaking away from the traditional procession of formal and informal spaces, emphasis in gateway theatre is given to the composition of spatial relationships between the performance and community spaces. Every floor is unique and non-repetitive; each floor is encoded with intriguing experiences that encourages users to discover the theatre and Bukit Merah in different light.
Moving away from conventional exclusivity, a series of pre-function spaces are inserted as gardens to relief the building of the common circulation and formality. This disrupts the perception of pre-function space and blurs the boundary of formal and informal space where the pre-function gardens are now accessible to the community. The green areas threads through from Level 2 to 6, linking up to a network of candid spots that encourages spontaneous activities where it not only addresses the challenge of crowd control but also double up as informal gathering spaces.
On level 6 resides a roof garden. Composed with varying planes, the roof garden is an extension of the performance arena where it can house several groups of people simultaneously. Characterised by the integrated landscape and varying scales of gardens, the open air theatrette can serve from tens to hundreds of people.
Gateway Theatre is an initiative for accessible performance spaces with delightful experiences for the community where art can be appreciated in the heartlands.