Performance Space Concept Development

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.
Pictured: Joshua Dachs (left); Bernardo Fort Brescia, Arquitectonica & Kristen Coury, Founder/Artistic Director, Gulfshore Playhouse (right)

Pictured: John Fontiillas, H3 and Joshua Dachs (left); Bernardo Fort Brescia, Arquitectonica & Kristen Coury, Founder/Artistic Director, Gulfshore Playhouse (right)

Performance Space Design

The central design challenge in any building used for opera, drama, dance, or music is, of course, the performance space itself. At the outset of a project, FDA develops initial concepts for each performance space for the Owner and design 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 3D models that help the Owner and designers understand the sizes and volumes required and begin to visualize the performance spaces.

Philosophy

While each art form and every project has its own special requirements, there are qualities that all successful spaces for live performance share.

For the Audience, we strive to make performance spaces that

  • 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 together in a shared space
  • Help laughter, tears, and applause spread naturally through the house
  • Help 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 Performers, we strive to make performance spaces that

  • 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
< Feasibility Studies, Needs Analysis & Programming
Backstage Planning and Layout >
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