A Design Guide
Edited by Judith Strong
Routledge – 2010 – 294 pages
The Association of British Theatre Technicians produced its first guide to the design and planning of theatres in 1972. Revised in 1986, it became the standard reference work for anyone involved in building, refurbishing, or creating a performance space. Theatre Buildings – a design guide is its successor.
Written and illustrated by a highly experienced team of international theatre designers and practitioners, it retains the practical approach of the original while extending the scope to take account of the development of new technologies, new forms of presentation, changing expectations, and the economic and social pressures which require every part of the theatre to be as productive as possible.
The book takes the reader through the whole process of planning and designing a theatre. It looks in detail at each area of the building: front of house, auditorium, backstage, and administrative offices. It gives specific guidance on sightlines, acoustics, stage engineering, lighting, sound and video, auditorium and stage formats. Aspects such as catering, conference and education use are also covered.
The information is supplemented by twenty-eight case studies, selected to provide examples which range in size, style and format and to cover new buildings, renovations, conversions, temporary and found space. The studies include Den Norsk, Oslo; The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis; The Liceu, Barcelona; Les Bouffes du Nord, Paris; The RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford on Avon; and the MTC Theatre in Melbourne. All have plans and sections drawn to 1:500 scale.
The book contains around 100 high quality full colour images as well as over 60 specially drawn charts and diagrams explaining formats, relationships and technical details.
1. Preliminary Planning 2. Broad Principles 3. Front of House 4. Auditorium Design 5. The Stage and Stage Machinery 6. Lighting, Sound and Video 7. Back Stage Provision 8. Additional Spaces 9. Restoration, Conversion and Improvement of Existing Buildings
Tim Foster is the senior partner in Tim Foster Architects. He is a council member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians, chairman of the ABTT Theatre Planning Committee and represents the UK on the OISTAT Architecture Commission. He is a board member of the Tricycle Theatre Company in London.
Andy Hayles is Managing Director of Charcoalblue Ltd, a multi-disciplinary theatre consultancy. He is a visiting lecturer to Cambridge University, Canterbury University, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, LIPA and RADA. He is a full member of the Society for Theatre Consultants, a member of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings and a Director of the ABTT.
Peter Longman is now a Consultant to and Board member of various arts bodies, and has been involved with theatre buildings for most of his career. He ran the Arts Council's grant scheme for arts buildings from 1969-78, and was the Government's chief adviser on museums from 1984-95.
Anne Minors is director of AMPC Ltd. She is past-Chairman of the Society of Theatre Consultants; member of the Association of Lighting Designers; Council Member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians as well as a corporate member of the RIBA and an assessor for Arts Council England and Arts Council of Wales and Arts Council of Scotland.
Mark White is Director of Electronic Theatre Controls Ltd. and has been Chairman of the ABTT from 2002 until the present.
Judith Strong is the Director of aap consulting (formerly Arts & Architecture Projects). She is currently an Enabler for CABE; Chair of the Arts Advisory Committee for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; a board member of Action for Children’s Arts; board and building committee member for the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond; and a member of The Architecture Club.