Specially built, but temporary, Friso Theater in Leeuwarden for the musical “De Tocht”

The Friso Theater in Leeuwarden has been specially constructed for the spectacular musical “De Tocht.” It is a musical portraying the legendary Elfstedentocht, which premiered in October 2023. Once the musical concludes its performances, the hall will be emptied and repurposed as a production hall for Houkesloot Prefab, which is already closeby established. This approach ensures a multifunctional and sustainable use of the hall. SAB supplied various sandwich panels for the facade and roof, facilitating a swift construction process.

Alternative location

The initial plan involved building on the site of the former Brada meat factory on Snekertrekweg, colloquially known as the ‘Brada terrein’ in Leeuwarden, close to the start of the actual Elfstedentocht. Due to delays in the ground’s delivery, the development of the Friso Theater for the musical “De Tocht” came to a halt at that location. The premiere was inevitably postponed to 2023, prompting the organizers, the Friso Bouwgroep, and the municipality of Leeuwarden to find a solution. They collectively identified a better location on the De Zwette industrial estate, on Friso Bouwgroep’s own land, allowing for quicker decision-making and construction.

Key advantages of the new location

The new location brings several significant advantages for “De Tocht.” The Friso Theater will be easily accessible via Leeuwarden’s ring road, with ample parking available. Additionally, the production can directly utilize power from two existing windmills on the premises, contributing substantially to the goal of producing the performance as sustainably as possible.

Swift Construction and Technical Marvels

The waterside theater was constructed in record time: in just over half a year, the Friso Bouwgroep managed to realize the theater hall, spanning almost 6000 m².

The basic structural hall measures 65 x 55 meters with a clear span of 55 meters. The hall is approximately 20 meters high, designed to accommodate post-musical use. Within the hall, the theater features a rotating 360° ice floor covering 2,000 m², rotating beneath the stage.

In addition to the enormous ice floor, the partially moving LED screens behind and above the stage floor and ice ring are hard to miss. These screens, with a height of eight meters each, form a panoramic display with a maximum width of over 90 meters, ensuring captivating special effects and projections.

SAB Sandwich panels and deep decks

For rapid construction and effective insulation, SAB sandwich panels were chosen. For the roof and facade, SAB D(-FA) 130.1000 TL panels in Colorcoat Prisma Oyster were used. Additionally, internally, perforated deep deck profiles, SAB 135R/930, were applied for improved acoustics in the theater hall. These profiles are also specially double-coated with a black RAL 9005 coating on the visible side. All installation of SAB products was carried out by the assembly company De IJzeren Man B.V. from Joure.

Project data:
Client: Friso Bouwgroep
Contractor: Friso Bouwgroep
Cladding: De IJzeren Man B.V.
SAB Products:
SAB D(-FA) 130.1000 TL in Colorcoat Prisma®, colour Oyster
SAB 135R/930 Perfo in Colorcoat® PE 15, colour 9005_9002

Photos: New Digit – Zweitze Korten and musical De Tocht


The theater has 1,460 seats, providing ample space for many visitors. In the first few weeks, numerous spectators have already attended the musical. Meanwhile, more than 125,000 tickets have already been sold.