The Teatro Regional del Bíobío stands on the edge of the Biobío River that runs through the Chilean city. A trio of architects – Radić, Castillo and Medrano – won a competition to design the theatre back in 2011 and it opened earlier this year.
The architects developed a design with a contrasting interior and exterior appearance, based on a quote by Polish theatre director Tadeusz Kantor: “My packagings were an attempt to ‘portend’ the nature of the object. By hiding it, enveloping it.”
A skin of semi-transparent polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is laid over a regimented concrete framework to create this duality.
Radić employed a similarly translucent skin of white fibreglass for the globular Serpentine Gallery Pavilion he created in London in 2014.
The covering is applied in bands corresponding with the building’s six storeys, with each level tilted in opposing direction to the next to create a concertinaed effect. Light shining through the facade at night lends the form the appearance of a paper lantern on the water’s edge.