studio ae | Urban Foyer for National Operetta Competition
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Urban Foyer for National Operetta Competition

Third Prize

12000 sqm       2017       Bucharest

In 2017, The Union of Architects in Romania organized the national competition for the design of the urban piazza situated in front of the Operetta Theatre in Bucharest.


After the recent construction of the Operetta building in Bucharest, the exterior zone remained abandoned and isolate from the city. The competition was searching for an idea “to reclaim for the city and for the community the empty space surrounding the building of the Operetta, close by The National Library in Bucharest.”

The site of the Operetta benefits of an advantageous context: in the centre of the city, on the left bank of Dâmboviţa river, with natural slope that descends to the water, with openness to Bucur’s Church. As music, water, vegetation is generating sounds, vibrations and emotions. Nature represents the link factor and continuity between adjacent urban spaces and the Operetta Building.
The solution proposes that the Operetta area could be active, not only when there are shows, but especially to enable the existence of spontaneous urban events: an outdoor recital, a space for walk and relax, for meeting, a way in which the inhabitants to rediscover the city and value elements.
The purpose of the intervention is to enable the presence of the existing elements and to transform the Operetta site into a continuous and coherent area, integrated at urban level. Through the proportion of the proposed elements, they are visible from distance and became urban landmarks. The people meet a succession of situations: green spaces, piazzas, water, sounds, emblematic perspectives.

The main elements that are contributing to the integration of Operetta site are:

Using the natural slope towards the river

Creating contact with water


Enabling sounds of nature
The hidden parking of cars by using the natural slope.
Through the creation of fluid and permeable connections, of convivial spaces of social interaction, through sounds integrated in the rhythm of the city, as the music, the Operetta area become a link at an urban level. The Foyer of the Operetta comes to the foreground of the city centre through a public space which generates events throughout the day.
The Jury:
“The project has a complex landscape approach, insisting on the relationship with the river and the connections with the surrounding urban landscape. This solution moves the accent from the Operetta Theatre’s piazza to the southern sides (adjacent to the passage) and east (limited by the river). The composition is dominated by a lateral axis consisting of a promenade – a fountain ending with a signal and belvedere over the river and a system of alleys sweeping along the river border. Instead of a simple piazza design, the project proposes a viable alternative of an urban park.”