The central design challenge in any building used for opera, drama, dance or music is, of course, the performance space itself. Carefully considering the form, scale, dimensions, and geometry of every performance space we work on is one of FDA's central tasks and most important contributions.
At the outset of a project, FDA develops initial concepts for each performance space for the Owner and team to use as a starting point for discussion and development. Usually these concept designs take the form of sketches or CAD drawings, and physical or computer-based 3-D models that help the Owner and designers understand the sizes and volumes required and begin to visualize the performance spaces.
While each art form and every project has its own special requirements, there are qualities that all successful spaces for live performance share. We strive to make performance spaces that:For the Audience
- Provide excellent views from all seats
- Bring everyone as close the performers as possible
- Help everyone to feel the full power of the performance vividly
- Remind the audience that this is a live event, not a film, and that they and the performers share these moments
- Help laughter, tears, and applause spread naturally through the house
- Make the performers appear to be the largest and most important things in the room
- Make the auditorium feel as small as possible
- Eliminate distractions
For the Performer
- Make them feel that they are being seen and heard splendidly
- Make them feel as though the auditorium was designed around them
- Make them feel that they can fill the auditorium with their voices and their presence
- Make them feel as though they can reach out and touch the audience, or hold them in the palm of their hands
- Help them feel embraced by the audience
- Help them feel that the house is very small, and everyone is very close
FDA's most significant contribution to the design process is our ability to help an architect to translate these objectives into a built form. We help Owners and Architects design successful, powerful, inspiring performance spaces.