De Klinker Cultural Centre interior, Winschoten

Cultural expression

in all its dimensions

De Klinker Cultural Centre interior, Winschoten

The ‘Klinker’ Cultural Centre was given a lively shape to reflect the expressive nature of its programs. The interior design aligns with the expressive exterior design which is based on two principles.
First, the public is welcome to enjoy cultural performances and encouraged to practice cultural expression. Secondly, the public has its own leisure "hot spot" reflecting their regional identity.
This inspired the designers to combine and enhance the synergy between different functions.

The cultural centre includes a theatre, amateur arts centre, library, radio studio and a theatre café. Considering the limited space, the desired multitude of functions is condensed. Great effort was taken in acknowledging this multitude by creating different identities, ambiance and artistic features for each program.

The Foyer

When entering the building the first impression is the spatial effect of the foyer, the heart of the building. The space is animated by the dynamic positioning of the theatre, especially with the warm glow of daylight bouncing on the flaked wooden surfaces throughout the day. The rounded form of the theatre and the impressive buildup of the space: a series of expressive voids defines the heart of the building and gives closeness to all functions.

The volume of the theatre is disconnected from the floors and emphasised further by the lofty void surrounding it. The white walls and ceiling create a sense of spaciousness. In daytime the natural light penetrates the inner space through the skylights. At night, the atmosphere in the foyer is determined by the intensity of the colour of the lighting.
All the artificial light is composed of RGB LEDs which can be altered and programmed. This enables a spatial atmosphere adaptable to different moments during the day or different events, from classical performances to pop concerts.

Besides its public purpose, the foyer also connects all the functions within the cultural centre: the space reacts as a chameleon. During the day, the library uses the foyer to display books and the reading area extends into the theatre café, the cultural education and information dominating the space from the front door to the top floor; at night, the space is entirely taken over by the theatre.

Central to the building is the grand theatre auditorium, containing 650 seats divided between the parterre and balcony with loges. The theatre space has a classical and yet dynamic atmosphere; seats and drapes are vibrant dark red, creating the typical intimate theatre ambiance while the walls are dark grey and covered with acoustic elements for sound effect adjustments. These elements contain adjustable multi-coloured mood lighting, creating several atmospheres. The acoustic elements are covered with perforated boards expressing the regional features of Groningen like the sea, reed, woods, and birds. The black box theatre has a rougher, more contemporary atmosphere, with raw concrete contrasting greenish blue acoustic elements. A special feature of this space is its gigantic window, allowing daylight in the auditorium during music recitals and lectures while permitting the darkened setting required for theatre and cinema performances. This space is truly multifunctional.

The 'Klinker' is open around the clock, and due to its synergetic use of space is buzzing all day long with the cultural life of Winschoten.

The building is truly a chameleon: at day time it's the cultural living room for the inhabitants of Winschoten and at night time the lights dim, dreams and poetry awakes ... It’s theatre!



Brick buildings volume 1, august 2017, p74-79
ArchitectuurNL 01 2016
Bouwen in het Noorden, april 2015
Zichtlijnen, vakblad voor podiumtechniek mei 2015
Dagblad van het noorden juni 2015, interview Roland Halbe
Dagblad van het Noorden, 22 september 2014
Stedenbouw 709 2013, p38-39Stedenbouw 709 2013, p38-39

Video van de bibliotheek van Winschoten
Bibliotheek in Cultuurhuis de Klinker van Winschoten in de top 3 van Nederland

What's the opinion of the client and how is the user experience? Read more.


  • Eva Bloem
    Reception desk (Photo Eva Bloem)
  • Roland Halbe
    Lobby in the evening (photo Roland Halbe)
  • Lobby during the day (photo Eva Bloem)
  • Eva Bloem
    Library on the first floor (photo Roland Halbe)
  • Second floor (photo Roland Halbe)
  • Lobby
  • Roland Halbe
    Large theater room with 650 seats (photo Roland Halbe)
  • Roland Halbe
    Theater (photo Roland Halbe)
  • Theater
  • Perforated lighting panels with artistic elements of the province of Groningen
  • Eva Bloem
    Detail (foto Eva Bloem)
  • Eva Bloem
    Café (photo Eva Bloem)
  • Eva Bloem
    Detail (foto Eva Bloem)