National Theatre of Uganda

Featured Image Source: Janet Davis, Under Permission, http://www.mccrow.org.uk/eastafrica/JanetDavis/EastAfMemories_JanetDavis.htm

The National Theatre of Uganda, which is administered by the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC), is the heart of Ugandan culture. It is an important venue for the performing arts. It is also an important venue for Ugandan and International films.

The building was officially opened on the 2nd of December 1959, after an act of parliament made it possible to establish the Uganda National Cultural Centre in 1959. The building was designed by the architecture firm Peatfield & Bodgener. This is the same firm that designed the Parliment Building which sits just across the road. These two buildings represent an important time in the history of Uganda. They represent Uganda’s fight for independence and the unity and prowess of the country.

2013_4largeimg224_Apr_2013_145206523-703x422
Source: Uganda Department of Information, Under Public Domain, http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1317933/kampala-eyes-1945-german-architect

The building (Shown above in the lower right corner) is built in the shape of a grand piano with the curved side of the building being the entrance.

Map
Source: OpenStreetMap, Under ODbL, http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/0.31597/32.58913

The building’s exterior is clad in concrete rings. These rings help to keep out the harsh sun and the heat but these still allow a breeze to flow through the building. This helps to keep the building, its performers Orland audience cool during shows and allows diffuse light into the building.

Uganda_National_Theatre_building
Source: Kateregga1, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uganda_National_Theatre_building.jpg

The rings of the building are reminisce of the Hyslop Building of the University of Nairobi. Designed by Graham McCullough, its deeper concrete rings also keep the glare of the sun out.

The rest of the exterior is clad in natural gray-yellowish stone. The building’s beauty is derived from ours form. Its clean but expressive lines give it a modern character. This modern character is strengthened by the lack of ornamentation.

East_Africa_1958-62_06_Uganda_trip_14_Kampala_-_National_Theatre
Source: Janet Davis, Under Permission, http://www.mccrow.org.uk/eastafrica/JanetDavis/EastAfMemories_JanetDavis.htm

The interior of the main hall has long rows of red velvet seats with a simple and sober interior decoration.

The building is a historic and important cultural icon in the city. Although the building is in dire need of renovations it remains one of the most interesting and beautiful buildings in Kampala.


Sources: Malcolm McCrow, All Africa, The East African, Uganda.Spla.Pro, New Vision, Peatfield & Bodgener Architects, Monumental through Design, Identity by Definition: The Architecture of Uganda prior to Independence, Archive, OpenStreetMap, Wikipedia

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