Cultura Ede

25 Aug 2020

Cultura Ede houses a theater, gallery, library, music school, arts center, café and shop. It is the vivid center for art and culture in the Dutch city of Ede (NL). However, an interior makeover is desired to transform this motley mix into an esthetic and tangible whole. By removing obsolete elements and creating a visual connection between floors, the stage is set to both encourage and exhibit a melting pot of different functions. Through physical cohesiveness that fosters social connection, Cultura Ede will become the cultural third place of the region.

Cultura harnesses the power of art and culture to offer people the chance to learn, inform and enjoy themselves. Located at the intersection of two important connections, this center literally embodies a cultural crossroads in the city of Ede. The building itself was constructed during several different phases.

Halfway through its existence, the entrance’s orientation changed from a nearby parking lot to a front door at the intersection. This means that visitors now have to walk along a residential block to reach the entrance. These developments did not benefit the accessibility, visibility, and visual identity of Cultura Ede.

The LookBook: vision and design base bundled

Creating places where people feel welcome is the mission of aatvos. These places are also referred to as ‘third places’ and, like the first place (home) and second place (work/school), third places play an important social role. Aatvos has been asked by Cultura Ede to transform the cultural center into an esthetic whole, making the merger of all cultural facilities visible and substantial for visitors and casual passers-by.

The next step is the complete integration of all cultural facilities in Ede. Aat Vos describes, “After an inspiring workshop week with the Cultura Ede management team and other leading team members, we have bundled the vision and the basis of the new interior design in a special LookBook.”

Important points of attention are the kids’ world, maker space, a theater wall that also acts as Cultura’s own showcase thanks to various display elements and announcement boards and, of course, the programmatic connection.

Less clutter, more Cultura

A crucial element of the new interior is the reduction of the esthetic barrier between upstairs (the library) and downstairs (the café and shop). This is done, among other things, by removing unnecessary interior elements and adding new walking routes and more transparency. Visitors now not only experience a smoother physical connection between the two stories, but also a functional intermingling of both the library and the theater. The theater wall is a new spatial element which is the connecting factor between different functions on the ground floor. It also functions as a ‘gate’ to the atrium which is found farther within the building.

A couple of bespoke interior pieces will help create memorable experiences. Furthermore, an unexpected and warm color palette has been added to the interior and is complemented by the new light plan which adds an extra dimension to the atmosphere. Together, these elements make Cultura Ede an inviting third place where the inhabitants of Ede will feel at home and enriched.

Project credits

Cultura Ede is a co-creation of aatvos (design concept, strategy, creative direction) and Stonepark Interiorbuilders (design, engineering)

3D images & ‘work in progress’ photos by aatvos.