Barcelona, SPAIN

Teatre Romea

Description

The Teatre Romea in Barcelona, iconic for its history and architecture, has undergone multiple renovations, with the recent refurbishment of the auditorium seating being particularly notable.

To achieve this, an enhanced replica of the Gaudí chair, a classic style chair previously installed by Figueras in 2001, has been utilised. With the redesign, the seating capacity has been increased from 602 to 625.

These new seats, made with new materials, have been upholstered in recycled red velvet. They feature an ergonomic design and a quiet seat-folding mechanism, including a safety return system.

Additionally, accessibility has been improved by making 60 seats removable to accommodate various configurations and needs.

Figueras has also carried out a comprehensive renovation of the auditorium, involving the repair, levelling, and installation of new floor coverings, along with the red carpet of the central aisle. An innovative LED floor lighting system has also been implemented to enhance visibility and add a contemporary touch to the classic theatre setting.

Project Name: Teatre Romea
Year of Development: 2023
Country: Spain
Location: Barcelona
Installed Seats: Gaudí (Bespoke Model)
Capacity: 625
Segments: Theatre
Venues: Theatre

Installed Seats

Installed Systems

Case Study

THE RENEWAL OF A CLASSIC:

TEATRE ROMEA SHINES BRIGHTLY

Teatre RomeaLocated in the heart of Barcelona’s Raval district, Teatre Romea stands as one of the most iconic theatres in the Catalan scene. Built by an unknown architect on the site formerly occupied by the Casino d’Artesans and the society known as Tertúlia Progresista. Founded by Miquel Gasset i Bosch, it opened on November 18, 1863, catering to the petite bourgeoisie and the working classes. Initially used as a dance hall, its conversion to a theatre increased its capacity to about 600 people. In its early years, it was called Teatre de l’Hospital, due to its location on Hospital Street. Ten years later, it was renamed Teatre Romea in tribute to the popular Murcian actor Julián Romea Yanguas.

The theatre has undergone multiple renovations throughout its over 160-year history. The current appearance of the facade and auditorium is largely due to the 1913 refurbishment by an unknown author. The classical style facade features three horizontal sections and three vertical axes, highlighted by large arches and balconies flanked by columns. Moreover, a large glass marquee now welcomes spectators. Later, the 1964 refurbishment focused on the lobby and the ground floor, and the most significant recent update in the auditorium was in 1992, directed by architect Joan Rodón.

Teatre Romea

THE STALLS

Venturing inside the theatre and through the lobby, we arrive at the stalls, a vibrant space where theatre permeates every corner. Here, plays by prominent Catalan literary and theatre figures such as Frederic Soler “Pitarra”, Santiago Rusiñol, Àngel Guimerà, or Josep Maria de Sagarra have been performed. The seating arrangement is Italian style, inspired by the Farnese Theatre of Parma built in the 17th century. This Italian arrangement features the stage separated from the audience by a proscenium arch, adorned with floral motifs. The audience is distributed across the stalls and amphitheaters at various levels. The theatre’s ceiling is striking, filled with detailed floral ornamentations, rosettes, and friezes, often enhanced with gilded and polychrome applications, reflecting the splendor of historic theatres like Romea. This theatre is exceptional: in 2001, Figueras participated in the redesign of its seating, introducing the Gaudí seat. Nearly 25 years later, these seats have been completely renewed with an improved replica of the originals, giving the space a distinctive character. Moreover, the capacity has increased from 602 seats in 2001 to 625 in 2024, a modest change in number, but significant in terms of comfort and accessibility.
Teatre RomeaOn this occasion, the theatre management chose to preserve the essence by conserving the seat design while updating the design and materials. The seat is upholstered in red velvet made from recycled material, moving away from the previous color scheme. Both the backrest and seat feature quilted stitching with vertical seams for a padded and comfortable look. The seat folds automatically via a mechanism operated by a double lateral hinge, which now includes a new safety return system. Both the seat and backrest are covered with beech wood, treated with flame-retardant varnish and finished in cherry color. The side panels are also made with the same finish, and except for the ends of each row, each armrest is shared by two seats. The seat is anchored to the floor through a central foot, which adjusts to the slope of the room. 54 of the seats in the stalls and 6 in the second amphitheater have been made easily removable to adapt to various configurations and needs.

COMPREHENSIVE RENOVATION PROJECT

The renovation of the Romea’s stalls is also a paradigm shift in the projects developed by Figueras. Beyond the seats, Figueras was responsible for removing the existing seats, as well as designing and executing a waste management plan. Another task was the repair and leveling of the floor and the installation of its covering, along with the characteristic red carpet of the central aisle.

Additionally, a project for adjustable embedded floor LED signage was developed, not only improving visibility but also adding a contemporary touch to the classic environment of the theatre.

This theatre is not only a witness to the rich theatrical and architectural history of Barcelona but also a living space that continues to evolve to meet the needs of artists and the public. Managed for years by Grup Focus, with each refurbishment and update, Teatre Romea strengthens its commitment to preserving cultural heritage while adapting to entertainment industry technologies and trends. It is a brilliant example of how historical spaces can remain relevant and vibrant in the 21st century, maintaining their essence while modernizing to ensure an unforgettable experience for every spectator.

Teatre Romea

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