A performing arts center for Denver University

Material Information

A performing arts center for Denver University
Mishler, Frances
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
approximately 100 leaves : illustrations (some color), charts, maps, plans ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
College buildings -- Designs and plans -- Colorado -- Denver ( lcsh )
Buildings ( fast )
College buildings ( fast )
Colorado -- Denver ( fast )
Designs and plans. ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Designs and plans ( fast )


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master's degree in Architecture, College of Design and Planning.
Statement of Responsibility:
Frances Mishler.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
08815312 ( OCLC )
LD1190.A72 1981 .M52 ( lcc )

Full Text
m I4CHL&R.

G. K.

Table of Contents
Thesis Proposal and Project Description Climate
Codes and Zoning Information
Site and Site Analysis
Program and Program Analysis
General Considerations: Theater Design
Seating and Aisles Acoustics
Structural and Mechanical Systems Drawings and Photographs Interviews Bibliography


Department of Theater University of Denver
Project Description
The University of Denver is preparing and planning for a new Performing Arts Facility for the Lamont School of Music and the Department of Theater. I propose to design the facilities designated for the Department of Theater for a projected enrollment of 200 theater majors. The Lamont School of Music will be considered to be a separate building with convenient access to the Theater building.
Scope and Projected Program
The total square footage of the building will be approximately 70,525 sq. ft. It will consist of a large theater to seat 800 1,200, a small theater to seat 400 500 and a "Black-Box theater to seat 125. Other spaces include a lobby, Scene Shops Costume Shops, Storage and Classroom facilities, Seminar rooms, a dance area, Green Room, and Theater and Production offices.
A more complete program is attached.
The site proposed by the University of Denver is on a large piece of land bounded on the north by Asbury, on the south

by Evans, on the west by Race, and on the east by York. The west portion of the site now contains a parking lot, the General Classroom Building, and the Business School. The south portion contains three very handsome brick Fraternity houses. To the east and north, the site is vacant except for some very small former bungaloes of undistinguished design now used to house University offices. Across Asbury to the north and west is the Fine Arts Building of the University of Denver. Across the site to the north is the Field House and playing field.
Thesis Product
The Thesis product will consist of appropriate presentation drawings consisting of site and floor plans, elevations, section and a model. Interior and exterior perspectives will be drawn if needed to amplify and clarify the design. Structural analysis will be done in keeping with System's Synthesis policy, but special emphasis and attention will be paid to acoustics in this case.
Advisory Board
Gary Long John Prosser Vincent LaGuardia
Howard C. Roberts
Faculty Advisor Faculty Advisor
Conductor, Lamont School of Music Acoustics Engineer

Thesis Proposal
Finalize concept
Site Analysis, Climate Analysis, Context Zoning, Codes, University Restrictions, Programming, Research theater design.
Outside Consultants, Acoustics, Theater design.
Finalize programming Preparation of Booklet

Week of
J anuary 25 Site Planning and Decisions
February 1 Schematic Design Concepts
S Initial Consultations for
15 Mechanical and Structural
22 Alternatives
March 1 Selection Preferred Design
15 Design Development
22 Structural and Mechanical
29 Consultations
April 5 Design Finalized
12 Final Presentation
19 Drawings and Model
May 3 Production Finalized


Denver, Colorado
Climate Analysis and Summary:
Latitude: 39 4o N
Longitude: 104 52 W
Denver is located on the high plains nestled into the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains on the South Platte River, Its elevation is 52S5 feet above sea level. Annual rainfall is about 15 inches which classifies this climate as semi-arid. Summer temperatures range from an average minimum between 50 and SO degrees to an average maximum between 30 and 90 making summers moderately hot. At the same time, relative humidity ranges from between 34% and 69%, well within the comfort range. Spring months bring the greatest precipitation; the rainiest month being May, with another but smaller peak in August, due to scattered local thunderstorms.
Winters are moderately cold with low temperatures ranging from average minimums in the high teens to average highs in the forties. Sky cover ranges from 6 7%,; and relative humidity, higher than in summer months, is between 50 and 70% on the average. Prevailing winds year round are from the south, but during winter the fastest winds and stormy weather come from the North and Northwest at about 50 mph. Extremely cold weather is usually of short duration. Air masses move in from four different sources. Cold arctic air masses move in via Canada and Alaska while Pacific air modified by passage across two mountain ranges blov/s in from the west. Most precipitation results from warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, while hot ary air from Mexico and the Southwest bring hot weather

during the summer. Surges of cold air from the west are moderated by descent down the eastern slope and the result is the Chinook, the warm due wind that will suddenly raise winter temperatures well above normal. During summer afternoons, clouds shade Denver to the extent that late afternoon temperatures are kept down. Autumn has the greatest percentage of possible sunshine and periods of unpleasant weather are brief.

General Design Guidelines
1. Orient appropriate spaces such as classrooms, in order to take advantage of day lighting.
2. Massive materials and earth berming help to dampen the effect of the diurval swing.
3. Double glazed windows and insulation help to reduce both heating and coding needs of the building.
4. Windows on the south should be designed with overhangs to prevent direct sunlight during the summer, while allowing winter solar radiation to enter.
5. Light colored roof will reflect sunlight during the summer.
6. Arrange building and theater entry so that it is not shaded during v/inter months and is not as succeptible to snow deposit.
7. Outdoor spaces and amphitheater should be oriented to take advantage of sunny, areas, but should provide shade from planters during summer months.
8. Buffer spaces within building, such as corridors, toilets and support facilities should be placed where possible, to the v/est and north.
9. Allow for cross-ventilation within building where possible for comfort during warm months and to flush with cool air at night.
10. Theater should be provided with mechanical system that
allows for quick warm-up or cool-down. Should be thermally isolated from more consistently used portions of the building
such as classrooms.

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Monthly Diurnal Dioclimatic Analysis
Denver, Colorado
Night Time Data (4 AM)
Month Wind (Mean fpm) Mean Del. Humidity Average Temp. F. Possible % Sun Solar Radiation BTU/sq.ft. Avg. Sky Cover Avg. Monthly Precip.
Jan. 950.4 47.1% 23.5 0 0 0.75 in.
Feb. 765,6 39.5% 22.3 0 0 1.00 in.
Mar. 721.6 36.8% 29.3 0 0 1.20 in.
April 836.0 33.7% 38.6 0 0 2.10 in.
May 704.0 37.6% 46.2 0 0 3.00 in.
June 959.2 33.8% 52.5 0 0 1.75 i n.
July 739.2 27.0% 61.0 0 0 1.90 in.
Aug. 660.0 35.7% 58.6 0 0 1.75 in.
Sept. 633.6 24.4% 50.0 0 0 1.00 in.
Oct. 66 8.8 29.0% 39.8 0 0 1.00 in.
Nov. 642.4 46.3% 31.6 0 0 0.75 in.
Dec . 616.0 42.7% 23.7 0 0 0.60 in

Monthly Diurnal Dioclirnatlc Analysis
Denver, Colorado
Horning Data (llO 'Xfl)
Month Wind (Mean fpm) Mean Rel. Humidity Average Temp. F. Possible % Sun Solar Radiation BTU/sq.ft. Avg. Sky Cover Avg. Monthly Freeip.
Jan. 906.4 50.0% 34.6 68% 116.8 5.1% 0.75 in.
Feb. 968.0 47.3% 37.8 75% 138.6 5.7% 1.00 in.
Mar. 862.4 43.1% 47.0 85% 205.1 5.8% 1.20 in.
Apr. 932.8 41.6/o 53.7 7 8% 224.1 5.7% 2.10 in.
May 862.4 50.3% 62.5 65% 245.4 5.8% 3.00 in.
June 976.8 44.0% 70.9 6 8% 262.5 4.5% 1.75 in.
July 827.2 34.9% 80.3 72% 263.4 4.6% 1.90 in.
Aug. 668.8 47.4% 77.3 72% 240.3 4.6% 1.75 in.
Sept. 695.2 41.6% 67.8 85% 213.9 4.1% 1.00 in.
Oct. 774.4 45.0% 55.8 75% 165,6 4.2% 1.00 in.
IIo v. 739.2 61.5% 42.3 58% 117.3 5.8% 0.75 in.
Dec . 8 5 3.6 51.3% 35.5 72% 100.7 5.3% 0.60 in.

Monthly Diurnal Bioclimatic Analysis
Denver, Colorado
Afternoon Data (A PM)
Month Wind (Mean fpm) Mean Rel. Humidity Average Temp. F. Possible % Sun Solar Radiation BTU/sq. ft. Avg. Sky Cover Avg. Monthly Freeip.
Jan. 906.4 64.8% 34.2 68% 36.44 5.1% 0.75 in.
Feb. 968.0 63.3% 39.4 75% 48.3 5.7% 1.00 in.
Mar. 862.4 66.2% 46.1 85% 113.3 5.8% 1.20 in.
Apr. 932.8 62.6% 57.5 7 8% 150.27 5.7% 2.10 in.
May 862.4 74.8% 66.4 65% 169.90 5.8% 3.00 in.
June 976.8 69.5% 74.4 68% 184.40 4.5% 1.75 in.
July 827.0 58.9% 80.5 72% 182.20 4.6% 1.90 in.
Aug. 66 8.8 70.1% 78.6 72% 156.90 4.6% 1.75 in.
Sept. 695.2 60.3% 75.3 o co/ o O jo 123.50 4.1% 1.00 in.
Oct. 714.4 60.9% 61.7 7 / 0/0 57.70 4.2% 1.00 in.
Nov. 739.2 76.3% 44.7 58% 36.50 5.8% 0.75 in.
Dec . 853.6 72.8% 37.2 72% 22.90 5.3% 0.60 in.

Monthly Diurnal Dioclirnatic Analysis*
Denver, Colorado
Evening D a t a Tl(T~PM)
Month Wind (Mean- fpm) Mean Rel. Humidity Average Temp. F. Possible % Sun Solar Radiation BTU/sq. ft. Avg. Sky Cover
J a 11. 950.7 67.6% 24.1 0 0
Feb. 765.6 57.8% 25.9 0 0
Mar. 721.6 62.1% 32.2 0 0
Apr. 836.0 52.9% 44.8 0 0
May 704.0 58.2% 53.8 - 0 0
June 959.2 52.2% 61.0 0 0
July 739.2 47.8% 67.8 0 0
Aug. 660.0 56.2% 65.3 0 0
Sept. 633.6 45.8% 57.9 0 0
Oc t. 668.8 54.2% 42.8 0 0
Nov. 642.4 70.7% 34.9 0 0
Dec. 616.0 68.7% 26.6 0 0
Avg. Monthly Precip.
*Kindly provided by Brad Walker

1. Applicable Building Code: Denver Building Code.
2. Zone: R3
3. Fire Zone: 3
4. Occupancy Group (Table 5A)
Group Description
A Assembly building with a stage
and an occupant load of 1000 or more.
F2 Universities or colleges.
Floor Area (Chapter 5 and Table 5-C)
Occupancy type A F2 F2
Construction type I I II
Basic Allowable Area unlimited unlimited 30,000 sq. ft
Fire : zone 3 Increase 9,900 sq. ft
Added stories Increase 79,980 sq. ft
Total Allowable Area unlimited unlimited 79,980 sq. ft
Group A Occupancy 53,335 sq. ft. 77%
Group F2 Occupancy 15,700 Sq. ft. O''"'!?'' 2 O/o
Total Building Area 69,085 sq. ft. 100%
An analysis of the above leads to the conclusion that the building should go to Type I Construction overall. Firewall separation between mixed occupancies can thereby be avoided, and the safest type of construction can be assured to all

offices, and storage facilities
spaces, including classrooms,
5. Fire Resistive Requirements: Type I Construction Structure.
(Table 17-a) Rating
Exterior Bearing Walls 4 hour
Interior Bearing Walls 3 hour
Structural Frame 3 hour
Permanent Partitions 1 hour
Shaft Enclosures 2 hour
Floors 2 hour
Roofs 2 hour
Exterior Door and Window 3/4 hour
Parapets 4 hour
7. Wall and Opening Protection ('03 Sections)
Fire Resistance of Exterior Wall s 4 hour
Openings in Exterior Walls for a setback of less than
20 feet from the property line, must have a 3 /4 hour rating.
3. Building Height by Code T II
Allowable Stories unlimited 6
Maximum Height unlimited 75 f t.
Q ^ Occupant Loads (Table 33A)
Use Square Footage Sq. Ft./ Occupant Occupant Load
Lobby 10,975 7 1563
Theater I 19,400 7 2771
Theater II 7,750 10 775
Theater III 160 15 11
Storage and Support 12,200 Facilities 50 244

Classrooms 15,700 20 785
Offices 2,900 100 29
Total 69,035 6183
Exit Requirements
Use Occupant Load Occ. Load 50 Number of at 3 ft,/
Theater I 1,200 24 8
Theater II 500 10 4
Theater III 125 2.5 2
Storage and Support Facilities 244 4. S 2
Classrooms 785 16 4
Offices 29 29 1 1
Multiple Story Exit Determination - Occupant load of that
story plus a percent of occupant loads of floor s which
exit through the level under cons ideration.
A. 50% of occupant load of story above and bel ow.
B. 25% of occupant load in stories immediately above and
below the first adjacent story.
Arrangement of Exits at least 25 feet apart.
Distance to Exits -
Maximum travel distance to exit 150 feet
(no automatic fire sprinkler system)
Travel distance with automatic fire 200 feet
sprinkler system
Exits: Group A Occupancy (Section 3315)
Main Exit -

Occupant Load/2 12
Number of Exits
Theater I Theater II Theater III But shall be at least the leading thereto.
5 2
1.25 1
total width required of all aisles
Side Exits -
Exit width must equal occupant load served/3 Must open direct^/ to a public way, exit court, exic stairway, or exterior stairway.
Must be accessible from a cross aisle.
Stage Exits (Section 3908)
At least one continuous exit, not less than 36 inches in width, shall be provided from each side of the stage, opening directly or by means of a passageway to a street or exit court.
(a) Width. An exit stair at least 2 feet 5 inches wide, shall be provided for egress from each fly gallery.
(b) Egress. Each group or vertical tier of dressing rooms shall be provided with at least 2 means of egress, and each shall be at least 2 feet 6 inches in width.
(c) Enclosure. Stairs required in this Section need not
be enclosed

Aisles (Section 3313)
Standard Seating: Minimum Width 3'-0" One side only
3'-6" Both sides
Add lYz inches width for each 5 feet in length from the farthest distance to an exit.
Continental Seating: Minimum width At least 44 inches.
Seating (Section 3314)
Standard Seating: 12 inches from the back of one seat to the front of the most forward projection of the seat behind.
Continental Seating: Clear Width
13 inches
20 inches
21 inches
22 inches
Number of Seats in Row 18 or less 35 or less
45 or less
46 or more
Exits: Group F Occupancy (Section 3320)
Maximum travel distance to exit 150 feet
(no automatic fire sprinkler system)
Travel distance with automatic fire 200 feet sprinkler system
Ramps Required (Table 330A) 1:12 slope
44 inches wide

Corridor Width (Tatis 3304b)
Minimum: 3'-S" wide
71-0" high
Dead End Corridor Limit -
Less than 20 feet length and protected by fire assembly with 45 minute rating.
Corridor Construction 1 hour
31 a i rway W i d ths 3'-3" wide
Rise: ryl/ 7 /£ " maximum
Run: 10" minimum
Stairway Landing Depths
Must equal width of stairway
Must have a landing for every vertical distance of 12'-6"
Signs with

Stair to Roof
In buildings less than 4 stories in height, stairs or ladders used only to attend equipment or access to unoccupied roof shall extend a minimum of 2 feet above the floor, roof, parapet, or landing.
11. Occupancy Unit Live Loads (Chapter 23 Table 23-A)
General Design for a minimum of 2000 lbs./2)£ sq. ft.
Occupancy or Use Assembly
Theater stages, gridirons, fly galleries
Less than 1200 sq. ft. Greater than 1200 sq. ft. Storage
Light Heavy Offices Rest Rooms
Live Loads/Sq. FI
(not less than) 250
occupant load but no greater

Snow Loads
Roof Slope Pressure
less than 4"/12" 30
4" - 12"/12" 25
greater than 12"/12" 20
Other Requirements
Required separations in buildings of mixed occupancy -Separation between Occupancy A and F2 2 hour.
Light All portions of the building used by human occupants shall be provided with either natural or artificial light. Lighting in ail portions of the building used by human occupants shall be on a circuit separate from the stage lighting and shall be controlled from the box office.
Toilet Room Facilities Male F em ale
Use Occupant Load Number of Males and Females wc HR T \ 7 r r.rn T A Un.
Theaters 1325 913 3 3 4 r O 3
Classrooms 200 100 4 o O 3 2
Offices 29 15 1 1 1 1 1
Stage and S upport 814 407 2 2 o d. 4 3

Stages and Platforms Gridirons (Section 3903)
Gridirons, fly galleries, and pinrails shall be constructed of noncombustible materials, but protection of steel and iron members may be omitted. Gridirons and fly-galleries shall be designed to support the live loads as indicated in Chapter 23.
(a) Loft Blocks. Each loft block well shall be designed to support 250 pounds per lineal foot, and the head block well shall be designed to support the aggregate weight of all the loft block wells served. The head block well shall be provided with a strongback or late brace to offset torque.
(b) Sheaves. The main counterweight sheave beam shall be designed to support a horizontal and vertical uniformly distributed live load, sufficient to accommo date the weight imposed by the total number of loft blocks in the gridiron. The sheave blocks shall be designed to accommodate the maximum load of the loft blocks served with a safety factor of 5.
Rooms Accessory to Stages (Section 3304)
Rooms accessory to a stage shall be separated from each other and from the stage by at least a one-hour non-combustible fire separation.

Proscenium Walls (Section 3905)
(a) Construction. Stages shall be completely separated from the auditorium by a proscenium wall of at least one-hour noncombustible construction. The proscenium wall shall extend to the underside of the roof deck over the auditorium.
(b) Openings. All openings, other than proscenium openings, shall be protected with fire dampers as required in Chapter 52.
Stage Floors (Section 3906)
(a) Construction. All portions of stage floors shall
be built in accordance with the requirements of this Building Code, and shall be constructed of materials no less fire resistant than the building or structure housing the stage, and in no case shall the construction be less than one-hour fire-resistive noncombustible construction. Wood coverings may be installed, providing such 'wood covering shall be of at least 2 inch nominal thickness. Where wood sleepers are used for the laying of wood floors, the space between the floor slab and the underside of the wood covering shall be filled with noncombustible material or fire-stopped, so that there will be no open spaces under the flooring which will exceed 100 square feet in area.. See Chapter 38 for fire sprinklers under stages.

P1 at
Openings. Openings through stage floors shall be equipped with tight-fitting trap doers of wood at least 2 inches in nominal thickness.
i'orms (Section 2907)
Construction. Walls and ceilings of an enclosed platform in an assembly room shall be of at least one-hour fire-resistive construction. See Chapter 33 for fire sprinklers under platforms.
Accessory Rooms. Rooms accessory to a platform shal be separated from each other by at least a one-hour fire-resistive separation.
Extinguishing Systems Required Sprinkler System Required
1. Where floor area exceeds 1500 sq. ft.
2. Stages of any size at the following locations:
a. proscenium arch
b. under gridiron
c. under stage floor
d. in tie and fly galleries
e. in all areas adjacent to stage dressing room storerooms, carpenter shops, passageways
3. Read-end corridors Alarm Systems
Required in all new C-roup A Occupancy

Type I Construction
General (Section 1301)
The structural elements in Type I bui . 1dings shall be
of steel , concrete or masonry. Walls and partitj Lons shall
be noncombustible fire-resistive construction except that interior non-bearing partitions of one hour or 2 hour fire-resistive construction, which are not part of a vertical enclosure, may have fire retardant treated wood within the rated assembly.
Structural Framework (Section 13G2)
Structural framework shall be of structural steel, reinforced concrete or masonry.
Exterior Avails and Openings (Section 1803)
(a) Exterior Walls. Exterior walls and all structural members therein shall comply with the requirements specified in Table 17A.
1. Monbearing walls fronting on streets or yards having a width of at least 40 feet may be of unprotected noncombustible construction.
2. Exterior nonbearing walls may be of one hour fire resistive noncombustible construction where unprotected openings are permitted and 2 hour fire-resistive noncombustible construction where fire protection of openings is required.

Floors (Section 1804)
(a) Floor Construction. Floor assemblies shall be of noncombustible fire-resistive construction except that wood flooring may be applied over a concrete floor slab.
(b) Mezzanine Floors. Mezzanine floors shall be constructed of one hour fire-resistive noncombustible materials.
Stairs (Section 1805)
Stairs and landings shall be constructed of reinforced concrete or structural steel.
13. Zoning
Classification: R3
Offstreet Parking:
Use Parking
Classrooms 1/600
Theaters 1/200
Cffstreet Loading
1 space 10 feet wide
26 feet long
Gross Sq.Ft. Number of Spaces
30,800 51
38,285 191
14 feet high

Building Set Back Requirements
Front 10 feet
Side 7.5 feet
Rear 20 feet
Maximum Lot Coverage
Floor Area Ratio 3:1
1-3 stories 4 stories or more
Maximum Bulk Limits
Required Open Space

Administrative Office G4 Arena 85 Aspen Hail F3
Athletic Intramural Offices C5 Behavioral Development Laboratory D6 Ben M. Cherrington Hall F4 Biological Sciences Laboratories G3 Boettcher Auditorium G3 Boettcher Center G3 Bradford House F8 Buchtel Memorial Chapel E5 Business Administration Building 03 Carnegie Hall (Bookstore) E5 Centennial Halls 82 Centennial Towers A1 Center for Infant Studies C8 Clarence M. Knudson Hall G6 Clarion D6
Classroom Building D3 Columbine Hall E2 Conference Coordination G3 Conrad Hall G5
Denver Research InstituteChemistry C6 Denver Research InstituteIndustrial Economics G4, CB
Denver Research InstituteMachine Shop G6
Denver Reserach InstituteMetallurgy H5
English Language Center F7
Evans Memorial Chapel F3
Facilities Planning (Physical Plant) H5
Field House (5wimming Pool) C5
Frontier Hall E2
Gymnasium E6
Health Center B2
Hilltop Hall F3
Miff School of Theology F5
International Education DS
Intramural Fields B3
John Greene Hall G5
Johnson Hall F2
K-Book D5
KCFR Studios D6
Mail Services H3
Margery Reed Hail E6
Mary-Mac Building E2
Mary Reed Building F5
Mass Communications Bunding H5
McFarlane Hall F3
Music Building E7
Music Practice Studios E8
Nursery School DS
Open Clinic D5
Penrose Library E5
Physical Education Building D4
Physical Plant Maintenance Building B6
Piano Laboratory D8
Pioneer Hall E3
Psychology Offices and Laboratories 1 D6 Psychology Offices and Laboratories 2 D6 Psychology Laboratories 3 D3 Psychology Laboratories 4 DS Real Estate Management H5 Recreational Fields C2
Rocky Mountain Regional Conservation Center H7
Shwayder Art Building D4
Science Hall E4
Security Office F2
Skyline Hall FJ
Social Systems Research and Evaluations G5
Space Sciences Laboratories H4
Speech and Hearing Center H4
Spruce Hall E2
Student Union E3
Temporary Building E-3 G6
Tennis Courts C3
Theatre Annex 1 E6
Theatre Ar.nex 2 Eo
University Hall E6

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

South Race Street

South York Street

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History of Theater Design
Somewhere in the earliest experiences of primitive tribes, the history of theater began. Gathered together around a fire or against a hillside, religious rituals were acted out in song and dance in order to propitiate the gods and effect the health, safety and well being of the individual and the community.
This early format insured the most intimate form of contact between performer and observer, suitable as it was for small groups. As communities grew and religious observance became more highly ritualized, this format began to evolve. Architectural forms were developed as a response to growing needs and the relationship between audience and performer was changed inevitably. Architecture and dramatic form were inextricably linked, as a change in one had immediate impact on the other.
New forms of drama arose requiring changes in the physical setting, while architectural advances and developments in stagecraft and machinery encouraged new dramatic forms. Theater design today represents the culmination of this history of experiences wherein efforts both to revive old forms and to create new ones are being attempted.
Western drama had its origins in ancient Greece beginning v/ith celebrations of the Festival of Dionysus at Athens. Gradually the religious aspects gave way to performances dealing with mythological characters. The theater was a circle cut into the base of a hillside with rows of seats proceeding up the hill. The circular area, or "orchestra,"
was filled

with choral dancers performing around an altar. Behind it was a building for the use of the actors called the skene.
The area between the orchestra and skene, the proskenion, eventually became the stage.
The Theater at Epidaurus near Athens is a fine example of this type of theater. The auditorium is nearly 400 feet in diameter with fifty-five rows of steeply raked seats. The focus of the auditorium is on the "orchestra." Sight lines are excellent and studies have shown the arrangement to be acoustically sound. Although the amphitheater seated 14,000 persons, the arrangement of the seats in a larger than semicircular area around the orchestra provides for a reasonably intimate relationship between performer and audience. Both performance and audience area are architecturally part of the same space.
The skene underwent gradual changes with time, the back wall becoming more important until it constituted a permanent architectural backdrop with three entries. These openings in the skene were probably employed as scenery devices with each door having a different significance. The proskenion, the stage was raised several feet above the orchestra floor, supported by rows of columns.
Roman theaters were built of stone and placed on level sites within the city. The use of the arch and vault had developed to the point where architecture could support the raked seating freeing the form from the hillside. Increasing

secularization took place in theatrical performances, and the performer was further isolated from the audience. The orchestra in Roman design was semi-circular in shape and built three stories high with an elaborate and highly stylized facade. This additional height enabled the skene to be joined at the sides by the tiers of seats thereby producing a sense of enclosure to the auditorium and totally isolating the theater from its surroundings. It became at once a separate building, function and form totally integrated. Open to the sky, awnings were frequently placed over the audience to shield them from sun or inclement weather. The skene too developed a roof for the same purpose. Totally enclosed theaters, much smaller in size and rectangular in plan are also known. The Odeum of Agrippa in Athens is one such, the prototype for it being the pillared hall of the Greeks.
The history of drama and theater design pauses at this point and much time will pass before, under the influence once again of religious spectacles and ritual, drama reasserts itself. During the Middle Ages secular theater as such disappeared, condemned by the Church. Religious plays, under the sponser-ship of the Church, however, flourished. Mystery or miracle plays were performed on the altar within the church and on raised platforms at various stations around the church. The audience moved from station to station along with the action of the play. Stages could also be set up in the town itself, and were made mobil by the addition of wheels. The audience

moved from station to station along v/ith the action of the play. Stages could also be set up in the town itself, s.nd were made mcbil by the addition of wheels. The audience stood before these stages, v/ith additional spectators arranged on balconies around the square or on the street. Surrounded by audiences on three sides, the Open Thrust Stage was thus reborn again, stimulated by religious drama.
In England, the Open Thrust Stage continued to develop.
Here temporary stages were set up at one end of a courtyard at an Inn. In the center, the populace stood or sat on benches to watch the performance, while tiered balconies around the courtyard provided more expensive and exclusive seating. The stage had two levels of roofed performing areas, and although the audience portion was generally open-air, later theaters roofed the entire structure. In its final format, the Elizabethan theater formalized elements of European theater while providing intimacy and immediacy.
The Renaissance in Italy brought about renewed interest in classical forms. Vitruvius' description of classical theater and the stage illustrations of Terence's plays published in Lyons in 1493 formed part of the literary background that architects drew on for theater design. The Teatro Olimpico at Vicenza, started by Palladio in 1580 and finished by Scamozzi in 1584 is an illustration of the adaptation of classical forms to present uses that was typical of Renaissance design. The semicircular seating pattern became a semi-ellipse, and the

scaenae fronsthe Roman version of the Greek skeneis a true imitation of the Roman model. The stage setting is a permanent architectural backdrop with the traditional three openings through which streets in perspective can be seen.
The building is a recreation of a Roman theater under a roof. Scamozzi, who finished the project, developed a final set with five arches filled with perspectives of radiating streets.
The Farnese Theater at Parma represents the first true Proscenium stage. Designed by Aleotti in ISIS in Parma, Italy, the three arched openings in the permanent architectural setting were replaced by the single arch, a curtained stage, and a backstage for scenery. This evolution finally saw the total separation of actor and audience. Performer and observer are housed essentially in two separate rooms instead of one. This represents the beginnings of modern theater, in which the audience observes an imaginery world through an invisible wail, the mechanism of illusion being not symbolic suggestion, but artificially generated physical detail. The painted backdrop, made "real" by the development of perspective, mechanical effect flying scenery and trompe d'oeil, produced visual extravaganzes. Seating arrangements changed as well. The need to see action taking place within a frame, forced the audience into a narrower plan, resulting finally in a horseshoe seating pattern. Stage mechanization further influenced theater design as offstage areas, storage facilities, and flying scenery necessitated the development of huge backstage areas and tall stage lofts.

"Italian Theater," as it became known was noted for the opulance of its architecture as well as scenery designs, elaborate proscenium arches, carved and guildea tiered balconies, huge foyers and lobbies, and elaborately designed auditoriums which became the elegant tradition of the aristocracy. In English theater tradition, however, emphasis on a closer relationship between actor and audience extended the life of the Open Thrust Stage until 1660 when the Restoration brought Italian theater design to England.


RENAISSANCE" 1550 ~ 1650


Lobby space
10,975 so.
Central intermission facilities la.rge enough to hold 1500 people and serve
as gallery space. 8,000 sq. ft.
Box Office 300 sq. ft.
Chairman's Office 300 sq f t.
Seminar Room 375 sq. ft.
Rest Rooms 1,000 sq. ft.
Coat Check 500 sq. j- l .
Kitchen Facility off lobby 500 Sq. ft.
Large Theatre 19,400 sq ft.
Proscenium theatre to seat 800 1200, an all-University facility in which the opera and musical are presented and in which A.U.P.3., etc. performances are scheduled.
Orchestra Pit 12,000 sq. ft.
Proscenium 30 36' wide; 18 - 20' high. 600 sq. st -i- W
Stage 4,300 sq. f t.
Light/sound booths 700 sq. it.
Green room 500 c: n *- ^4 ft.
Two dressing rooms 300 sq. ft.
:ene Shop 4,600 sq . P+- J- w #
Adjacent to both theatres, but by the Theatre Department. 20' ceiling with a 40' paint frame. controlled high 2,500 Sq. ft.
Paint Shop 300 sq. ft.
Prop Shop 500 sq. ft.

Metal Shop
Electrics Shop/Maintenance/Stage
Costume Shop (Department)
Includes dye room, supply room, fitting room, construction room.
Costume Design Office
10 offices @ 150 sq.
ft. each.
700 sq. ft.
2,000 so. ft.
1,750 sq. ft. 250 sq. ft.
1,500 sc. ft.
Production Offices
900 sq. ft
Theatre Department Green Doom
500 sq. ft.
2 Rest Rooms @ 500 sq. ft. each,
1,000 sg. ft.
Outdoor Amphitheater
Small Theatre a 400 500 seat 3/4 thrust theatre 7,730 ft.
Auditorium 6,000 sq. -£>J- -L 0
Thrust stage 750 sq. ft.
Two dressing rooms 1,000 sq. f t .

Scenery (20' high) 2,000 sq. ft.
Costumes 1,500 sq. ft.
Small 300 sq. ft.
Large (furniture) 300 Sq. ft.
Classrooms 15,700 sq -L
Design Room 700 sq. ft.
Design Room 700 sq. ft.
Light Lab 500 sq. ft.
5 Classrooms 600 sq. ft. each. 3,000 sq. ft.
Acting/Directing 1,500 c: -P-f-v-l X X
Acting/ Directing 600 sq. ft.
Acting/Directing 1,200 sq. ft.
Acting/Directing 600 Sq. ft.
2 Seminar Rooms 400 sq. ft. each. 800 sq. ft.
Dance Area 2,000 sq. ft.
Dance Area and 100 seats 3,500 sq. ft
2 Dance Dressing Rooms 300 sq. ft. each. 600 ^ q x o
Black Box Theatre Co. 150 sq. ft.
To seat 125; ceiling 20' high, used as a rehearsal space.
Also to be

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Theater Relationships
General Considerations
The "front" or public areas, and "backstage" or working areas, constitute the two major elements. The audience should find everything necessary for their needs accessible 'from the foyer once they have presented their tickets. Included are toilets, coat rooms, drinking fountains, lounges, and smoking areas. The lobby should provide waiting space and circulation to areas other than the theater, which may be contained in the building. The manager's office is convenient if adjacent to the box office and accessible from the lobby. In the work group, control of the stage entrance will avoid interference from unauthorized persons and facilitate accounting of players, properties, and scenery. Rehearsal rooms are part of the work area and should be near other work elements. Movement of heavy furniture and other properties demands close relation between work spaces and stage proper. Dressing rooms may be mere remote but within supervisory distance.

Proscenium theatre.
Open-stage theatre.

Audience Activity
This is important to consider before and after a performance and between acts, due to the social nature of the occasion. Spaces for lounging, talking, and smoking, are all necessary. Easy access to such spaces is of prime importance. At times, audience and actors may intermingle, for this a combination of lounge and rehearsal room is desirable. Since refreshments may be served, a small kitchen or serving pantry is essential.

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Production Activities
These consist of preparation for and presentation of the performance. Scenery, costumes and properties are prepared within the scene and costume shops. Separate workshops are provided one for costumes and one for scenery and properties. Ample storage space is critical.
Stage house may be developed vertically with lofty stage house for lifting scenery vertically ("Flying") or horizontally with wagon stages and horizontally shifting scenery. Proscerium size and shape may be variable.
Floic chart for scenery.

Flow chart for actors in the theatre,

Lobby Space
10,975 sq ft.
Central intermission facilities, large enough to hold 1500 people and serve as gallery space.
Ease of movement is a prime requisite. Access to the variou facilities available off the lobby must be as free as possible to permit their full use by the audience before the show, between acts, and after the final curtain. Code requirements as to doors and exits are minima for safety. The number of openings to the vestibule, lobby, auditorium and lounge should be increased far beyond this minimum.
If possible, principal entrances from the lobby to the auditorium should be arranged without doors. Sound deadening material will be required on the walls of approaching corridors or lobbies, to prevent parallelism.
It is desirable to have both vestibule and lobby, as well as a separate lounge which on occasion may be used for social meetings, lectures, and discussion groups. The lounge may also serve as a rehearsal space.
The lighting in the vestibule adjoining the street should be brilliant focusing attention on the theater and the fact that a performance is about to, or is, taking place. Telephone booths should be provided, accessible from the vestibule.
The ticket office should command the entrance to the inner lobby and, at the same time, permit the lines to form without obstructing it. There are preferably two ticket windows.

Necessary also is sufficient free wall space for a small ticket rack.
A performance is both a social occasion as well as a dramatic entertainment. Therefore, the lobby should be considered as a grand promenade space, a processional space, a way for groups of people to meet one another, and both see and be seen. Exhibition space in the lobby is likewise desirable.
The checkroom should open from the main lobby. Provision should be made to have a sufficient number of attendants and a sufficiently large opening to the lobby so that standing in long lines after the performance is not necessary. Entrance to the vestibule is also desirable.

Large Theate
19,400 sq. ft.
Proscenium theater to seat 800-1200, an all University facility in which opera and musical are presented.
The acting area extends slightly more than the width of the proscenium and should be at least 20 feet deep. It should be trapped, throughout its extent, with unimpeded space below, the stage should be provided with an ample forestage. The stage manager requires at least a desk, and direct access to the stage and to dressing rooms. The prompter needs a small space from which he can hear and follow action without being seen.
Cycloramas are the background surfaces. The gridiron consists of a number of structural steel shapes suspended from 70 to SO feet above the stage floor. Two doors, at least S by 12 feet, are usually required for loading scenery. One should open to the scene shop, and the other to a street or alley.

Small Theater

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A 400-500 seat 3/4 thrust stage.
This theater will offer a more intimate audience/performer relationship than the large theater. It will be more experimental in nature and will emphasize dramatic productions. Scenery needs will be minimized due to the nature of the stage, but this theater should also be convenient to the scene and costume shops. Lobby space can be either shared with the large theater, or can be separate.

Black Box Theater
160 sq. ft.
To seat 125, ceiling 20 feet high. Also to be used as a rehearsal space.
This theater will be the most experimental of all. Consequently, it is important that the space be easily rearranged and responsive to a variety of audience/performer relationship Seats should be movable. This theater should be in reasonable proximity to the scene and costume shops and dressing rooms, but also to the classrooms as it may frequently be used by students during the day for rehearsals and for experimentation

Scene Shop
4,600 sq.
Adjacent to both theaters, but controlled by the Theater Department. 20' high ceiling with a 40' paint frame.
The shop is the center of most of the dramatic activities and includes subdivisions for carpentry, electrical, metal, and painting work. It should be provided with good outside light, preferably diffused and should immediately adjoin the stage storage space. The desirable clear ceiling height of which is 15 feet. Loading dock and delivery area should be contiguous.

Costume Shop
2,000 sq. f
Most costumes are made on the premises. Costume storage space should adjoin the costume shop. Costume shop should be convenient to the dressing rooms, and should be provided with adequate lighting levels, with natural light where possible, to undertake this close work.

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Storage 4,600 sq.
Desirable clear ceiling height is at least 15 feet although up to 30 feet is more desirable. Adequate space should be provided to store items on the floor. Separate areas must be provided for scenery, costume storage, and props.
Stacking space for flat scenery with about 15 feet of clear wall sps.ce on each side of the stage. Storage space must accomodate highest flat scenery used.

,500 sq,
Rooms should be equipped with blackboards, but all furniture should be movable. Some rooms will be used primarily for lectures, and some for rehearsal spaces. Design rooms must be equipped with drafting tables and adequate lighting for scenery design development. Adequate display space is important. The light lab is highly mechanized to teach lighting to students. Seminar rooms should be equipped with large tables and chairs.

Dance Area
6,100 sq
Space is provided for teaching dance particularly as a backup for musicals and operas. Dance area should be provided with a hardwood floor, practice bar, and mirrors. Adequate space for choreographical development is important. Dance area with 100 seats should be developed as above, and will also be used to dance performances. Important is the location of these areas to the dressing rooms and to the toilets. Showers might also be provided.

1,500 sq
The Green Room is a space where the stage manager checks the cast, and assembles the chorus and the director talks to the cast. It also functions as the actor's social room and can be a space e.s well for audience and actors to mingle. Equipment needed would be lounge furniture, full-length mirror, call system outlet and monitor system loudspeaker. It should be located near the stage.
Faculty offices should be located near the class room spaces.
Production offices need to be located near the theaters, and adjacent to the main circulation spaces.

Amphithe ater
This will be an informal space, adequate to be utilised for small, informal productions, but otherwise available for students to use as an outdoor space to sit or meet with friends. It should be part of the campus but developed in such a way, and with space available, so that it may on occasion be used as an amphitheater. Parklike atmosphere.

Seating Design
Continental Seating Traditional aisles are eliminated on the orchestra level, and spaces between rows are increased so that they serve as aisles. Access to the auditorium is from the sides rather than the rear. The hall can be emptied more quickly than can the radial aisle arrangement since each row is directly adjacent to exits at each side. Although rows must be spaced farther apart, elimination of radial aisles permits about the same number of seats within any given floor area.
Two Cross Aisles No Cross Aisles
SEATING AND AISLE ARRANGEMENTS: Heavily shaded comparative visual position in various systems.
One Cross Aisle Three Cross Aisles
areas represent stage and seating area losses from


FIGURE 1.57 Contemporary American theater chair widths: arm-to-arm. Dimensional drawing (no scale, dimensions in inches). [Courtesy of American Seating Company)
FIGURE 1.55 Contemporary American self-rising theater chair. Dimensional drawing (no scale, dimensions in inches). [Courtesy of American Seating Company]
C54 Contemporary American retracting pushback theater chair, drawing (no scale, dimensions in ^^4. -County of American Seating Companyj

Laterally nonstaggered auditorium seating: every-other-row vision (after Frink). {G. C. Izenour Archive)
Luterully staggered auditorium seating: every-other-row vision (after Frink). (G. C. Izenour Archive)
Laterally staggered auditorium seating: every-ruw vision (after Frink). [G. C. izenour Archive)

Tabie IV Numbers of Seats (Stock Sizes) for Any Row Length
End Allowances; Normal 3" allowance to accommodate 2 end standards per row is mciuded aoove. For balconies with steps m aisles allow 2" additional.
Seat Sixes; Common sizes shown. Seats are also availaole id 23" 6- 24" wide. Id" size not recommended. Limit use of i9" seats to ends ct rows for comfort.
Choice of Seats; Note that ^or longer rows two choices of seat sizes are available. Example; Row length 14*- 9*' ix 19 sears and three 20" may be used, or, two 2j and six 22 Dotted separate choices. Dimensions not fitted by stock sizes are omitted.

Sabine Formula R^ = 0,049v/A secs,
where v = volume, cubic feet
A = total wall absorbtion in Sabine
Intensity Intensity of sound falls off 6 decibels each time
the distance from the source is doubled.
Intensity = E (wattage of source)
4 r'2 (where r = distance from source)
= watts/m
PWL = SPL + 20 log r + 0.5 dB
where PWL = power level of source
SPL = sound pressure level
r = distance in fe et between the source and receptor
Reflection The frequency range of sound covers ten octaves; the longest wave length is 17 meters, the shortest is about 17 millimeters.
To reflect sound in low frequencies, a reflector of more than 56 meters in its shortest dimension is needed. Smaller reflectors reflect higher frequencies.
Reflecting surfaces in buildings are frequency discriminating, they reflect high frequencies better than low.
Reflecting surfaces placed behind performers improves efficiency in outdoor amphitheaters, while speech intelligibility

is improved by the use of reflecting surfaces in indoor theaters on or near the stage.
In enclosed theaters with walls and ceilings, sound is reflected inward and toward the back row of seats.
There are two types of reflecting surfaces:
1. Specular mirror-like
2. Diffuse distributed
Avoid concave surfaces which focus sound.
Reflected sound adds directly/- to radiated sound, thereby raising the sound level above that predicted by the inverse square law.
In order for performers to hear each other and play together, a sound reflecting ceiling should be placed not more than 25/30 feet overhead.
Reverberation Time Period of time over which sound will linger in a room after the source has stopped. The energy varies as the square of the cube root of the volume.
As room size increases, reverberation time increases, unless the amount of absorbancy is increased. Through experiment, desirable reverberation times for halls of various sizes have been established.
If reverberation time is less than 30 milliseconds and less intense than the original sound, the effect is beneficial.
At more than 40 milliseconds, an echo results. Echoes also result if reflected sound is as intense as the original sound.

Echoes are caused by rear walls, excessively high ceilings, and other distant large, plane surfaces more than 50 feet away. The reflected sound will be greater than 0.1 second.
Reverberation time in a room is defined as the tine required for the intensity of a sound to decrease to one/one millionth of its original value.
Opera House 1.5 to 2.5 seconds.
Concert Hall greater than 1.8 second Multipurpose Auditorium less than 1.5 second Rooms with volumes greater than 150,000 cubic feet are likely to be used for music, not speech. Opera houses have reverberation times longer than dramatic theaters and shorter than concert halls. Reverberation makes syllabic identification more difficult.
Sound absorbing material should be placed on distant surfaces to prevent echoes. The audience, however, is the principal absorber of sound. Fabric upholstered seats have the same characteristics empty or filled. Finishes and furnishings are also important.
Sound Transmission Loss The amount that a construction reduces the transmission of sound usually given in decibels is called sound transmission loss. The control of the transmission of sound is governed almost entirely by the weight of the components. Airtight construction is important.


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The reflected hearing line. |G. C. Izenour Archive!
All areas receive sound reflectionsthe separate stage and audience "rooms are connected acoustically and both are live


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