TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ................................................. 1
THEATRE DESIGN ............................................... 2
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF BOULDER PROJECT ................... 13
BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................ 23
My project will involve the design of a performing arts center for the Boulder community. In this report I would like to explore, first, some important aspects of theatre design in general, especially those relating to acoustics, site lines, and circulation. It will include a discussion of various stage types, specific spaces involved and activity relationship diagrams. To a large extent, once one has determined sizes, budget and type of theatre needed, other parameters fall into place. Next, I will investigate the background of the Boulder project specifically. My project is based on actual plans of the Boulder city and community. Jay Midyette, programming consultant and possibly project architect, Marcalee Gralap of the Boulder Public Library, and Richard Bell, who has been involved with the Nomad Players of Boulder, were especially helpful in making available to me information on the history of the project and in discussing with me their feelings about the needs of the community.
I will analyze the goals, facts, concepts and needs involved in this project. I will include a brief site analysis, a list of design considerations and criteria, and a preliminary list of spaces.
THEATRE TYPES Proscenium Theatre
The proscenium theatre is still the most generally accepted theatre shape in this country. By definition, a proscenium theatre is a shape in which the audience faces the performing area on one side only and sees the performing area through an architectural opening that often has an elaborate architectural frame. This is the least intimate form of theatre design. It is the most flexible, though, in terms of set design.
The main characteristic of the open stage is that the theatre and the stage share the same volume. The theatre is entirely surrounded by the audience.
In the thrust stage theatre the stage is surrounded on three sides by the audience. This form, and the open stage form, are both more intimate and lower in cost than the traditional proscenium theatre. They are less flexible in terms of set design. There may be exits in the back of the stage as well as under the audience through tunnels. This is probably the most practical form of theatre if one has decided on a smaller theatre and does not want the expense of a proscenium stage. There are obvious advantages to having one side of the stage accessible to storage, shop, dressing rooms, etc.
Two forms of thrust theatre are one in which the audience is sunk into
a conversation pit and circulation and access take place at the level of the stage and one involving a terraced seating area in the rear, a sunken area in front and a crossaisle at stage level.
Experimental or Black Box
Essentially a large empty space capable of various audience-stage relationships. The ceiling has a grid and lighting is exposed. Totally flexible.
Size of a theatre should take into account the fact that subtleties of expression cannot be perceived by audiences over 500, beyond 750 the face blurs, beyond 1,000 all but highly trained voices are lost. Amplification is usually considered unnatural. The complexity of design should depend on the use for which the theatre is intended and who the client is.
So much has been written about design of theatres that at first glance the matter could seem quite complex. Actually, as far as site lines go, and these to a large extent determine many of the parameters involved in theatre design, only a few basic principles are involved.
Based on a discussion with Bill Cummings who worked on the design of the Arvada Center, I was able to establish the following approach towards programming a performing arts center:
1) Decide how it will be paid for, whether self-supporting or subsidized. This has a bearing on the number of seats. A theatre that is self-supporting must take in a certain amount per performance.
Most theatres are subsidized to a certain degree.
2) Will the theatre be a community theatre or an educational one. In the former case the theatre will be fairly small, in the latter, relatively large.
3) Take a s.uryey of kinds of activities for which the center will be used. This will determine theatre type as well as size and complexity. This could involve a market study investigating what performing groups the community is capable of attracting and how often.
4) Decide what size crowds can be expected. Again, we are dealing with something that could be a market studyhow much of an interest in the arts is there in the community.
5) The budet will determine such considerations as, for example, whether the scenery will be flown or not, and whether or not complex mechanical systems can be incorporated for acoustical and seating flexibility.
By HAROLD BURRIS-MEYER and F. G. COLE
If the patron is to see satisfactorily, plan and section must conform to a number of limitations which are set forth in the following list. To design an auditorium is to determine a seating area within these limitations and to establish position (not shape) of walls and shape of floors therefrom.
1. The horizontal angle of polychromatic vision (no eye movement) is approximately 40
2. The horizontal angle to the center line at which objects onstage, upstage of the curtain line, cease to bear the intended relationship to other objects onstage and to the background is approximately 60 .
3. The horizontal angle to a flat projection sheet at which distortion on the screen becomes substantially intolerable is 60 measured to the far side of the projected image. Curvature introduced into the screen may render the distortion less from the extreme seats on the opposite side of the center line of the house but will increase distortion from the seats on the same side of the center line (see Fig. 14).
4. Judged by the audience's ability to recognize shapes, and confirmed by free audience choice of seats, the following is the order of desirability of locations:
a. front center (except when the screen is close to the front row)
b. middle center
c. middle side
d. front side
e. rear center
f. rear side
5. Audiences will not choose locations beyond a line approximately 100 to the curtain at the side of the proscenium.
6. The vertical angle beyond which ability to recognize standard shapes falls off very rapidly is approximately 30 (see Figs. 1 5 and 16).
7. The recommended maximum angle of motion picture projection to the horizontal is 12 .
If the foregoing limitations are applied in the horizontal plane for any given proscenium opening, they will limit an area of maximum value as seating space which is approximately elliptical. It is interesting to note that this shape for an auditorium plan was pioneered by the late Joseph Urban who had little of the present data to work with and may safely be assumed to have chosen the shape largely on esthetic grounds. A fan shape provides addi-tional seating space at minimum sacrifice of sight lines, but nobody wants the seats in the extreme rear corners.
Occupants of all seats are visually related to the performance when the seats are oriented toward the stage. This necessitates curving the rows of seats. The center of curvature is lo-
Theotres and Auditoriums, 2d ed copyright 1964 by Litton Educational Publishing. Inc., by permission of Van Nostrand Remhold Company
cated on the center line of the auditorium approximately the depth of the house behind the proscenium. Budgetary limitations may dictate that seats be in straight rows to simplify construction: these rows can at least be related to the center of attention on stage by being placed on chords of the optimum row curvature.
To provide best visibility from any seat, no patron should sit exactly in front of any other
patron unless more than one row distant. Tl requirement makes it necessary to stage seats. Staggering is accomplished by the n< uniform placement of seats of varying widths succeeding rows. Unless the walls of t theatre are parallel (which is acoustics hazardous), it is extremely unlikely that me than a very few rows can be made up of sei of uniform width. The lack of uniformity the by introduced provides the means by whi staggering can be accomplished. Seats i made with uniform standards and interchani able backs and seats so that a wide variati of seat width is possible; a variation fr< seat to seat of an inch or two. cumulat enough to accomplish satisfactory stagger a make rows even, is not noticed by the patri Various seating companies have their o< schemes and formulas for seat stagger, soi of them patented. The client may ask a seati company for a seating plan and should exami it critically for (1) insufficient stagger in oc sional areas of the house and (2) the introdi tion of seats narrower than the acceptal minimum.
Aisles are of questionable desirability exci in the largest houses. They must, however, employed in many localities because of bui ing laws which make no provision for contii ous-row or so-called continental seating which all rows are widely spaced and serve transverse aisles. Many a bad sight line has suited from putting the maximum legal numl of seats, usually 14, into each row in ev< section. Obviously, for purposes of seen radial aisles are best, with curved aisles oi slightly less efficient. Aisles perpendicu to the curtain line often have the acciden result of making side section seats undesira because people using the aisles interrupt i view toward the stage. The box office woi
' ' ' r cgjjl
Fig. 14 (a) The horizontal angle to the center line at which objects onstage, upstage of the curta'n bear the intended relationship to other objects onstage and to the background is approximately 60. T"6 angle to the projection screen at which distortion on the screen becomes substantially intolerable is 60 0f on the ability to recognize shapes and confirmed by sequential seat selection of unreserved seats, the ^ ^ sirability of locations is: A, front center, except when the picture screen is close to the front row; B, mi ^IC
C, middle side; D, front side; E, rear center; F, rear side, (c) Audiences will not choose locations beyond a mately 100 to the curtain at the proscenium. The shaded areas contain undesirable seats.
]5 The vertical angle above which ability to recognize familiar shapes falls off very rapidly is 30 .
< ke a theatre with all seats in the center sec-on A center aisle wastes the most desirable seating area in the theater and inevitably causes the objectionable condition of seats near the aisle being directly in front of each other. (See Fig. 17.)
Depth of House
There are many formulas used to determine the depth of the house, or more accurately, to determine the relationship between depth of house, width of house, and width of screen or proscenium. They vary considerably and are all empirically derived on the basis of existing theaters, with too little reference to whether such theaters are good or not. Typical are the following: Optimum depth equals 4 times screen width. Maximum depth equals 6 times screen width. Depth equals 1.25 to 2.35 times
Fig. 16 (a) A scene of direct conflict loses its visual significance to spectators outside the angles D,-D-0., etc. One performer covers the other for spectators inside the angles DrD-D?. (b) Scenes of direct conflict staged anywhere between B and C on an extended stage retain visual significance for all spectators between lines BB, and CC:.
equal to 1 minute of visual arc. Translated into space measurement this means that at 10 ft a normal eye can perceive a dimension of 0.035 in., at 50 ft. 0.175 in., and at 100 ft. 0.35 in. Details of actors' make-up and facial expression are not plainly recognizable at distances of more than 50 ft from the stage.
2. Capacity. The larger the house, the lower can be the price per seat or the greater the gross. If the box office is not to be considered, capacity may be limited by optimum seeing requirements, and the last rows kept within 50 ft of the stage. As various requirements
Fig. 17 Straight radial aisles are better than aisles which curve or bend.
operate to increase capacity, the distance of the rear seats from the stage must be increased and seeing conditions impaired in proportion. The theater operator may compensate the occupants of these seats by charging less for them. For shows involving live human actors, 75 ft is generally accepted on grounds of visibility as maximum house depth. (See Fig. 18.)
In theatrical entertainment which has as its chief visual component human actors (live shows), the degree to which these performers must be seen to satisfy the audience and put the show across varies.
A. Details of facial expression and small gesture are important in legitimate drama, vaudeville and burlesque, intimate revue and cabaret.
B. Broad gesture by single individuals is important in grand opera, presentation, musical comedy, and the dance.
C. Gesture by individuals is unimportant and movement of individuals from place to place is the smallest significant movement in pageant.
It follows then that theaters planned for the types of entertainment listed under A must be limited in depth of auditorium so that visibility from the remotest seat still allows the occupant to perceive facial expressions (not over 75 ft).
Theaters planned for the types listed under B may have greater distance from the stage to the remotest seat, but this distance is set at a maximum beyond which the individual actor is diminished to insignificance (approximately 125 ft).
Spectators in the last rows at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, looking through a distance ranging from 160 to over 200 ft, depending on the location of the performers onstage, see a ballet reduced to the size of midgets, and an individual performer, even with the dramatic enhancement of a follow spot, is a very insignificant figure indeed.
Fig. 18 Location of center of curvature for rows of seats.
Given the proscenium opening and capacity, laying out the orchestra and balcony or balconies in plan becomes a simple and straightforward process. Sight lines determine proscenium splay and house width. Visibility limits and capacity determine depth. Minimum distance from stage or screen to first row is determined in the section.
As can be realized from the foregoing requirements for seeing, any scheme which attempts to provide flexible audience-performance relationships sacrifices something, usually in every form attempted. The multiform theater cannot be justified except as a laboratory, where certain lirhitations are an acceptable price for flexibility and the box office does not need to support the enterprise.
The vertical angle of 30 at the spectator's position establishes the distance from the closest seat to the screen or to the highest significant object on the stage. The lowest seat in the orchestra must be located where the patron can just see the stage floor (except in the case of theaters built for motion pictures only). The highest seat in the balcony must be on a line which is not more than 30 to the horizontal at the front curtain at the stage floor if it is not to be above the limit of reasonable distortion. The standing patron at the back of the orchestra must be able to see the top of the screen, which is usually as high as any significant portion of a stage setting. Each spectator must see the whole stage or screen over the heads of those in front of him. Within these limits the floor slope of orchestra and balcony can be laid out: the first step in determining auditorium section. (See Fig. 19.)
Several methods have been offered heretofore for developing the floor slope. Doubtless others will be offered in the future. The authors present the following method as one which assures unobstructed vision from all seats. It may be noted that this system produces a floor slope considerably steeper than that in many existing theaters. It also produces better seeing conditions.
To determine floor slope, establish eye position of spectator in first row on center line by approximately 30 vertical angle above. For live shows, stage floor will be approximately 2
in. b*?ow this level. For theaters designed solely for motion pictures, the location of the stage floor is not critical; the position of the bottom of the screen is. (See Fig. 20.)
A point 3 ft 8 in. below, and 18 in. in front of the eye position will be the floor level for the front row. (1) Draw a sight line from the eye position to downstage edge of stage, and extend it back of the eye position for the front row. step off horizontal seat spacing (back to back and draw vertical lines at the points thus established. (2) Establish a point 5 in. above the intersection of the extended sight line and the next vertical line. (3) This is the eye position for the second row and the floor level at the front edge of the second row seat is 3 ft 8 in. below and 18 in. in front of the eye position Repeat steps (1), (2), and (3) to the back of the house and draw in the floor slope. Where the slope exceeds 1 % in. per foot, platforms are required under the seats, and steps in the aisles A cross aisle which divides the orches-tra into front and back sections entails the elevation of the first row of seats behind it to make up for horizontal width of the aisle.
The standing spectator's eye level behind the rear row of seats is assumed to be 5 ft 6 in. above the floor level of the last row. The sight line from this position to the top of the screen or highest probable curtain trim establishes the minimum height for ceiling under balcony. (See Fig. 21.)
Raising the stage will make it possible to reduce the floor slope but at the penalty of producing upward sight lines in the first two or three rows which are uncomfortable and unnatural for viewing stage setting and action. If the stage floor is above the elevation of the first row eye position, the upstage floor out of sight by perhaps as much as 6 in. from the first row is generally preferable to having an excessive floor slope, especially if more than one balcony is used.
When planning for motion pictures only, the lower sight line from the first row will come to the bottom of the projected picture, approximately 24 in. above the stage floor, or still higher if a reverse floor slope is planned.
In laying out the balcony, sight lines ate laid out from rear to front because it is unsafe to change balcony slope. The focal point onstage is the point farthest downstage at which visibility is requisite, or, in the case of motion pictures only, the bottom of the screen. The maximum forward extensity of the balcony is then determined when the location of the spectator's eye position has been moved forward to a point beyond which the floor and supporting structure would intersect the upper sight line of the spectator standing at the rear of the orchestra.
Fig. 20 (a) Maximum tolerable upward sight line angle for motion pictures, (b) Maximum angle determines location of closest seats, (c) Basic dimensions for plotting floor slope.
The pitch of balcony floors should not change since that would entail a change of riser height for aisle stairs and introduce attendant hazards. If vision from the rear row in the balcony is adequate, the rest of the balcony is satisfactory.
In theaters designed only to show motion pictures, the first row need not be located so that the patron can see the stage floor. It is satisfactory if he sees without obstruction the bottom of the screen which is seldom placed less
Fig. 19 Maximum tolerable downward sight line angle from balcony.
than 2 ft above the stage floor. Raising ^ screen makes it possible to flatten the contour of the orchestra floor. The reversed floor slop* developed by Ben Schlanger makes use of thi*. relationship to get the maximum number nf seats into the zone of least visual distortion and to hold the height of motion picture theaters to a minimum. A result of the reversed floor slope is to place balcony seats in the zone of optimum seeing.
Fig. 21 The sight line of the standing patron limits the balcony overhang.
It is apparent that a theater designed for maximum efficiency for motion pictures (reverse floor slope) is almost completely useless for any other sort of production except large-screen television. The principle survives in the angle of the car stands in the drive-in motion picture theaters.
The planning of the floor slope is not completed when pitch of orchestra and balcony has been laid out on the center line. It depends also on the curve of the rows of seats. The whole row must be at the same elevation if the seals are to be level. The floor therefore is not a sloped plane, but a dished surface in which horizontal contours follow the seat row curve The floor section at the center line, rotated horizontally about the center of curvature of the rows of seats, will determine the orchestra floor shape. The balcony is planned the same way save that the floor is terraced to take the seats. (See Fig. 22.)
It has been established that conditions o* seeing limit the depth of the house. Since capacity is a function of depth and width increasing the width increases the capacity However, since sight lines from the side ***' limit the angular spread of the side walls-width can be increased only by increasing the proscenium opening. The width o ^ ^ proscenium opening is a function of the ^ of production contemplated for the t e The dimensions given in Table 1 are from the requirements of the types of Pr
TABLE 1 Proscenium Widths, in Feet, for of Theatrical Production ____________
Drama 26 30 to 35
Vaudeville, revue . 30 35
Musical comedy, operetta 30 40
Presentation, opera .
tion noted when the performances are so staged as to assure maximum effectiveness.
Where budget permits building to have better than minimum visibility standards, wall angles may be narrowed, floor angles increased, and balcony omitted, and visibility from the worst seats thereby improved to a point considerably better than what is just salable. A very real problem, however, is to prevent precedent or personal prejudice from so influencing auditorium design as to cause the inclusion of large numbers of unsalable seats. One manager insisted, after floor slope and stage height had been determined and the auditorium floor laid, that the stage floor be lowered some 10 in. below the height called for in the plan, in the interests of. as he put it, "intimacy." From the middle of the orchestra in that theater it is hard to see below the level of the actor s navel. (See Fig. 23.)
Greek theaters were semicircular (horizontal sight-line angle 90 to center line). This was all right in Greece where there was no proscenium. It is obviously not all right where a proscenium is used. Yet, a misguided reverence for ancient practice still gives us some theaters with impossible sight lines.
open stage form must follow the requirements for open stage. Any theater in which performance extends beyond the proscenium onto either forestage, open stage, or extended stage requires very careful planning to provide good seeing from all balcony seats to all parts of the acting area.
Few, if any, arena-form theaters have balconies, nor are they likely to have since the all-around seating of the arena form seems to satisfy seating capacity demands without balconies. Moreover, to satisfy the requirements of good seeing in arena, it is necessary to elevate successive rows of seats more than in proscenium form as a partial solution of the insoluble problem of actors covering other actors from some spectator's direction. (See Fig. 24.)
If seat rows are successively and sufficiently elevated, the audience may see over the heads
Fig. 24 The sight line problem inherent in the arena form: A hides B and C from first two rows.
of near actors to the heads, and partially the bodies, of actors farther away.
The stage is easily defined: it is that part of the theater where the performance takes place.
therefore, must logically develop trom mo no tore of the performance. Inasmuch as architectural acoustics and the electronic control of sound can provide for optimum audience perception of the auditory components, regardless of the form of the stage, development of the requirements for the stage may proceed from a consideration of the visual components and the routine of performance.
For all production types, the visual components divide into two categories: performers and scenic investiture. These indicate the functional divisions of the stage: (1) the space in which the performers work, which, though actually three-dimensional, is usually referred to as the acting area, and (2) the space wherein the scenic investiture is arranged, which will be called hereafter the scenery space. A corollary of the presence of scenic investiture is the need for its operation and storage. This indicates a third functional division of the stage working and storage space.
There is a functional relationship between acting area, scenery space, and working and storage space. The size, shape, and arrangement of the acting area must be determined before the other spaces can be logically developed. (See Figs. 25 and 26.)
The theater situation is fundamentally one of the relationship between the performers and the audience. The audience wants to hear and see the show without distraction and in comfort and safety, as stated, but its ultimate objective in attending the show is to receive the utmost sensory stimulation toward the maximum emotional and intellectual experience Maximum appreciation and enjoyment of. and in a very real sense participation in, the theater experience by each individual member of the audience depend upon the maximum enjoyment of it by the entire audience. Group reaction to a single performance stimulus is something less than total unless that stimulus be perceived at the same time, in the same measure. and with the same significance by the entire group.
Fig. 23 Zone of invisibility. Causes: stage too high, front seats too low.
Opera houses of the Renaissance had side boxes for the very good reason that the people in the boxes competed (often successfully) with the stage show for audience attention. This condition persists, but it is worth noting that the best example of such a theater in America has not made a nickel for a generation. Nevertheless, theaters with at least vestigial side boxes are still built.
It is perhaps unnecessary to add that theaters planned in conformity with the principles here set forth may adhere in spirit to almost any architectural style by the discreet planning of service and decorative elements which do not affect the basic shape of the theater. In theaters which are being rebuilt, it is often possible to retain the desirable features and 8till provide a good theater.
Open Stage and Extended Stage
The open stage form in which sight lines must be directed to the edge of the acting area necessitates steep balconies. The balcony of a theater which is convertible from proscenium to
Fig. 25 Position of backstage areas relative to aach other. This diagram must not be interpreted in terms of i.ze or shape.
TABLE 2 Spatial Requirements for Various Jypes of Theatrical Productions (Continued)
General characteristics Acting area size Shape
Pageant and symphonic drama Dramatic episodes, processions, marches, dances, and crowd scenes. Masses of performers engaged in simple but expansive movements before very large audiences. From 2,000 to 5,000 sq ft, depending on the scale of the pageant. Rectangular with aspect ratio between 1 to 3 and 2 to 3
Large numbers of performers on the acting area at one time; often more than one hundred in big scenes and finales. Movement is martial processions and group dances and the costumes are elaborate. Soloists perform downstage center, close to the footlights but within the bounds of the conventional proscenium, principals play twosome and group scenes in the area near the audience, and choruses and supernumeraries require space upstage. The ballet and the chorus of soldiers, pilgrims, peasants, or what not, sometimes fill the entire acting area. The performance is viewed objectively by the audience and does not benefit by intimate contact between performance and audience.
Vaudeville and revue emphasize the human scale. Although the vaudevillian keys his performance for the last row in the gallery, the form is characterized by intimate direct relationship between performer and audience: monologues straight to the front, confidential asides to the front row, and audience participation in illusions. Other acts (acrobatics, etc.) are played across the line of audience vision for maximum effect.
Graceful and expressive movements of human figures in designed patterns, chiefly in two dimensions but with the third dimension introduced by leaps and carries. Occasional elevation of parts of the stage floor. Singles, duets, trios, quartets, groups. The movement demands maximal clear stage space.
Minimum: 1,000 sq ft Usual: About 2,500 sq ft Reasonable maximum: 4,000 sq ft
Minimum: 350 sq ft Usual: About 450 sq ft Reasonable maximum: 700 sq ft
Anything under 700 sq ft is constricting. Reasonable maximum: 1,200 sq ft
Quadrilateral with an aspect ratio between 1 to 2 and 2 to 3. Sides converge toward the back of the stage, following the sight lines from the extreme lateral positions.
Rhomboid with aspect ratio about 1 to 3 Sides converge toward back of stage following the sight lines from the extreme lateral seats.
Rhomboid with aspect ratio about 3 to 4 May project into and be surrounded b* audience (open stage or arena I since frontal aspect of performers has minima and space-filling quality has maximal significance.
Musical: folk opera, operetta, musical comedy, musical drama
These forms embody on a smaller scale the production elements of grand opera, plus a certain freedom and a quest for novelty which encourage the development of new performance devices. Close audience contact of soloists and specialists is borrowed from vaudeville and revue. Big scenes involve many dancers, singers, and showgirls, often with space-filling costume and movement. Fifty people on stage at one time is not unusual.
Minimum: 600 sq ft Usual: About 1,200 sq ft Reasonable maximum: 1,800 sq ft
Rhomboid with aspect rabo between to 2 and 2 to 3. Sides converge towart the back of the stage following the sight lines from the extreme later** seats.
Circle, square, or rectangle I3 aspect ratio) or ellipse 13 by 4 a ratio).
pension of acting area perpen- to general sight line. Audience ,onone side, elevated to perceive II;-dimensional movement. Large open-!T5 >t ends and in side opposite audi-_ (0f processions, group entrances,
- ,Ilts some elevation of portion of Ictmg area opposite audience, purely tor compositional reasons.
LOng dimension perpendicular to the general sight line. Audience elevated to perceive two-dimensional movement.
Either no proscenium with performers entering the "pageant field" from beyond the lateral sight lines, or structural or natural barriers to delineate the side limits of the acting area and conceal backstage apparatus and activity. "Curtains" of sliding panels, lights or fountains for concealing the acting area; often the concealment is by blackout only
Width equal to the long dimension of the acting area.
Space for 100 musicians between audience and acting area. Conductor must see performance.
Primarily an outdoor form, it is often staged in makeshift or adapted theatres, utilizing athletic fields and stands or natural amphitheatres. A few permanent pageant theatres have been built.
Pit for 60 to 80 musicians. Conductor must have good view of action.
Movement in two dimensions in acting area is a significant visual component, predicating elevation of the seating area to make this movement visible.
Long axis of the acting area perpendicular to the optimum sight line. Audience grouped as close as possible to the optimum sight line.
The forestage is an essential part of the acting area; steps, ramps, and runways into the house are useful
Width equal to the long dimension of the acting area. Flexibility is to some advantage in revue but of little value in vaudeville.
Music and music cues closely integrated with both vaudeville and revue performances. Pit space for from 15 to 30 musicians. Conductor and percussionist must have good view of the action.
Most of the visual components of vaudeville and revue are such that they are perceived best in the conventional audience-performance relationship. The comic monologist who must confront his audience is defeated by the open stage and arena arrangements
Nearly square acting area so that dance patterns may be arranged in depth and movement may be in many directions including along the diagonals. Many dance figures require circular movement. Many entrances desirable, especially from the sides of the acting area
Proscenium not really necessary; though useful as concealment for lighting instruments and dancers awaiting entrances, other devices such as pylons, movable panels, and curtains may be substituted.
Long axis of acting area perpendicular to the optimum sight line. Mechanized mobility of structural parts to produce changes in acting area arrangement are desirable. Forestages, sidestages, acting area elevators.
Usually as wide as the acting area, but should be adaptable to changes in the arrangement of the acting area described in the preceding column.
Numerous wide entrances for actors and stage hands via the aisles or through tunnels under the seating banks. Ramps deferable to stairs or steps. Experimentation possible in rendering stage hexible by lifts, and in development of jj^ksystems over the acting area
Music almost always accompanies dancers. For dance as part of opera or musical show, orchestra is in pit. For dance as specific performance, as in ballet, orchestra may be in remote location and music piped in. Maximum orchestra for dance: 60 musicians in pit for classical ballet. Minimum: one drummer
Dance in its various manifestations is the performance form best suited to the open stage or arena since it possesses the least amount of facial-expression significance and the greatest amount of movement and pattern in-two or three dimensions. Elevation of the audience to perceive best the patterns of dance is desirable.
Music an integral auditory component, sometimes integral visually Elevating orchestra pit to accommodate from 20 to 40 musicians.
Orchestra pit beside the acting area parallel to long axis and opposite principal entrance. This unavoidably imparts a performer orientation toward the orchestra and favors the seats in that general direction.
The assumption by ballet of a greater share in the performance of musical comedy indicates the need for a high general sight line from the audience. A phenomenon of the last 20 summers has been the growth of the musical theatre arena under canvas by which huge audiences have been enabled to see revivals of standard and Broadway musicals at popular prices though with general reduction of scenic investiture to that which is possible in the arena form. The movement has been economically feasible and generally lAofitable.
TABLE 2 Spatial Requirements for Various^Types of Theatrical Productions (Continued)
UB'trste drama. .
Of all production types, legitimate drama places the greatest emphasis upon the scale of the human actor. The importance of the individual actor requires that stage space and scenery do not dwarf him. Dominance of plot, locale, and characterization requires verisimilitude in the size and relationship of scenic objects. Too small an acting area crowds actors and furniture, hampers stage action, and detracts from the dramatic effect which is the sole aim of the performance. Too large an acting area diminishes the actor in scale and renders his performance ineffective by weakening the effect of his gestures and movement.
Minimum: 240 so ft (12 by 20 ft) Usual: About 525 sq ft (15 by 35 ft) Reasonable maximum: 1,000 so ft (25 by 40 ft)
Quadrilateral with an aspect ratio about 1 to 2. Sides converge toward the back of the stage following the sight line from the extreme lateral seats
Semicircle, quadrilateral, or polygon projecting from a proscenium or from an architectural facade.
Circle, square, rectangle, polygon, or ellipse with about 3 by 4 aspect ratio Entrances from diagonal corners and in middle of one or both long sides
Total Uniform Effect
If the theater does not permit total uniform stimulus and reaction, the performance can never reach its peak of effectiveness. The best efforts of theater artists stand the best chance of appreciative reception by audiences if the audience-performance relationship fosters total uniform stimulus and reaction, hereinafter called total uniform effect.
The producer and the theater artists have requirements consistent with these: they want the physical facilities which will allow their show to stimulate the audience to the maximum of intellectual and emotional appreciation. The skilled theater artist applies knowledge of audience reaction to the preparation of every part of the performance. If. because of inadequacies of the theater building, the audience cannot perceive the performance as the artist has planned it. the artist fails through no fault of his own. and the audience is disappointed.
Not only is it the height of theatrical artistry for the showman to achieve this condition of total uniform effect, but it is good business. The spectator who does not see or does not hear or
does not comprehend a speech or action because of inadequate physical orientation toward the performance feels to some degree cheated of his admission fee and less inclined to return to the theater than does the spectator who perceives all the components of the performance fully and who feels that the performance is projected toward him and those close to him.
Expert showmen and artists use their productions! knowledge and skills to the fullest within the limits of the physical plants at their disposal. It is the duty of the theater planner to provide them with facilities which neither limit nor hinder their efforts.
The performance and the audience can be related to each other in a limited number of combinations with some degree of variation possible in each arrangement.
Audience Looking in One Direction toward the Performance: Proscenium This has been the conven-tional arrangement of the twentieth-century
theater in the United States. It has the following attributes:
It affords the maximum confrontation of performers and audience and is best for lecturers, concert singers, recitation and dramatic presentation. It establishes a limited orientation of performers to audience. The audience
Fig. 26 Position of backstage spaces.
being in one compact group within a narrow horizontal angle, the performers can relate their actions to the whole audience simulta neously. f
It creates a limited, unified, fixed frame
the pictorial composition of the performa^ Scenery can approach the quality of fine art the refinement of its design elements It permits the director and designer to r* performers to scenery, secure in the know that the whole audience will perceive the tionships in the same way. w
It is the best arrangement for presenting^ an audience a dramatic action of confl'c< ^ ^ position of forces because the line aCJn0 0t the opposition or conflict is across the < vision of the audience and hence is max perceptible. ofodu*'
It is the form most conducive to t e tion of total uniform effect. ,t
Being the established conventional
stands vulnerable to attack by avantg*^^ who often seek change for the sake o
The hall must be lighted in such a way as to make the audience feel it is in a special place. The room must be made to feel intimate during the performancedirect and intimate contact must be established with the stage. There must be enough light in the audience for the theatre goer to find his way around, and to read the play bill but not so much as to be distracting.
The acoustic design of an auditorium will depend on its use or combination of uses. Therefore, the first step in the acoustical and architectural design must be determining the program. It must be decided early whether the acoustics will be a compromise between the program extremes or adjustable for various activities. Acoustical environments can be altered by changing volume, moving reflecting surfaces and adding or subtracting sound absorbing treatment.
The audience size determines the floor area of the auditorium and the volume of the room is developed according to reverberation requirements of the space. The shape of wall and ceiling surfaces must give proper distribution of sound and eliminate focusing or echoes, ceiling and side walls at the front of the auditorium distribute sound to the audience. These surfaces must be close enough to the performers to minimize time delays between natural and reflected sound. Ceiling and side walls provide diffusion. Both acoustically absorbant materials are used. Chairs should be used that have the same acoustically absorbant characteristics empty as full. Control of extraneous sounds and of noise due to mechanical systems is also important.
. .a satisfactory musical experience for the audience depends upon it receiving a series of reflected sounds of different frequencies in particular relationships to the initial orchestral sound source. (The audience) must receive early high-frequency reflections within 20 milliseconds of the direct orchestral sound for them to experience optimum musical presence-definition. The ITDG, initial time-delay gap, is defined as the difference in time between first arrival of direct sound and first reflection. The average ITDG of three well respected rectangular concert halls is 15 milliseconds. The average wall reflection ITDG of two renowned traditional square halls is 36 milliseconds.
As important as presence-definition are, the acoustical qualities of fullness, liveness, and warmth result from mid and low frequency reflections as sound energy decays in a hall. To achieve this we must have the right reverberation time. The best is 1.8 and 2.2 seconds at mid-frequencies.
To achieve proper delay times comparable to those of a rectangular hall we need a certain volume. Boettcher's volume is 450 cubic feet per person." ^
Perceived frequencies start at 30 cps. and go up to 10,000 cps. The optimum sensitivity is between 500 to 6,000 cps.
Intensity is measured in decibels. There are threshold decibel levels at which an individual can detect sound signals at various frequencies.
Reverberation is prolongation of sound due to repeated reflection.
The quality of reverberation is what can make a difference between a "live" and a "dead" space.
^Boettcher Hall-Acoustics, Architectural Record, March 1979
Below 1.0 seconds
1.0 - 1.5 seconds
1.5 - 2.0 seconds
2.0 seconds and up
Typical Reverberation 0.8 1.0 seconds
1.0 - 1.5 seconds
1.5 - 2.0
2.0 seconds and up
Background Music 0-60 decibels 60 115 decibels
Good for speech but generally too dead
Best for speech
Good for speech, fair for music Fair for speech, good for music Poor for speech, fair to poor for most music
Time for Music
Relatively small rehersal rooms Chamber music
Orchestral music, choral music, contemporary church music Large organ, liturgical choir
Permits relatively easy conversation Difficult to impossible
The box office needs at least one window for current sale per approximately 1,250 seats and one window for reservations. The further apart these windows are, the easier the traffic problem will be.
The total public area must accommodate the whole audience for intermission.
Circulation is to the bar, refreshment stand and lavatories. Traffic eddies tend to form in corners.
Lounge Area Opera House Commercial Theatre Non-commercial theatre: School
College and University Community
Per Seat 8 square feet 6 square feet
6 square feet 6 square feet 8 square feet
The major problem to be handled in foyer design is ticket purchasing. For the average legitimate house (capacity of 1,200), one ticket window can usually handle purchses by that portion of the audience that buys immediately before curtain time.
The foyer should be designed as a place to meet friends before the performance.
Foyer area per seatminimum of one square foot per seat.
The vestibule protects against the weather. It could be pressurized and equipped with a circulation of warm air.
The lobby is basically a distribution area. The lobby and the foyer can be combined. One entrance door to the lobby can handle 1,000 to 1,500 persons. Entrance doors should be adjacent to keep the flow the same. Flow is very importanteven moreso than sizeif the usher can direct patrons to seat or stairs without crossing other's paths a small lobby can be okay.
Lobby Area Opera House Commercial Theatre Non-commercial Theatre: School
College and University Community
Per Seat 2 square feet 1.8 square feet
1.2 square feet
1.4 square feet
1.4 square feet
Circulation both inside and outside a theatre is a critical design determinant.
Composite audience flow chart.
^leaves theatrereturns after show
No plan to facilitate the approach of traffic to the theatre is over elaborate.
The more curb space, the better.
Driyeways around the theatre should be one-way and at least two lanes; wide.
The sidewalk should be at least ten feet wide.
The marquee should cover all the curb-loading area.
Uncovered walks should be heated.
One-third is not enough.
The audience would be more dependable if better parking existed. STAGE DESIGN
The stage area, in a typical proscenium theatre must have a maximum of stacking and storage space in addition to the playing area. Several roomfuls of furniture may be needed in the course of a play.
Off stage space for circulation is necessary.
For flown scenery space, the stagehouse must be high enough to hold scenery out of site lines. There should be enough room to store the settings for a number of productions. Three point supports and counterweights are used. Only items parallel to the footlights can be handled in this way, though. Thus we also need ample stacking space. The stacking space required and the size of the stage floor are determined by the relations of storage area, playing area, and site lines.
If the proscenium opening is too small, the capacity of the theatre will have to be cut down; too large, side storage space will be insufficient.
Width of Proscenium Less than 32 feet; at
least 25 feet
Height of Proscenium Determined by height to
which the curtain is raised
Total Width of Stage Floor
At least twice the proscenium opening. This is a minimum. Three times the opening is better.
Height of StageHouse and Gridiron
Never less than 21/3 times the width of the proscenium preferably 2 1/2 times the width of the proscenium.
Stagehouse 90 100 feet wide 50 60 feet deep 75 90 feet high
The code requirements do not produce comfort. Forty-two inch spacing back to back allows patrons to pass other seated patrons.
Number of seats between aisles equal to but not less than 14.
Number of seats between an aisle and a wall, seven minimum.
The seat spacing provided in the code is too close for Minimum aisle width is seldom adequate for peak loads, be calculated on a rate of flow basis, as developed by National Board of Fire Underwriters.
It may the
BACKGROUNDTHE ARTS IN BOULDER
"Colorado is an incomparable state from the standpoint of climate, beauty, natural surroundings, transportation, education and recreation. It is important that all this be matched by cultural opportunity and in many cases it is. By comparison with some of the older sections of the country, however, we must exert extraordinary effort and unusual taste in order to be competitive regarding the arts and humanities in our communities and throughout the state.
. Today professional summer theatre, professional education in performing arts, road show companies, civic theatre with professional direction, civic opera, amateur dance, college theatre, school plays, and community theatre groups make up most of the current horizon with the professional activity centering in Boulder, Colorado Springs, and Denver." ^
"Many of the extant cultural groups are viable entities, on fairly sound financial footing and, though with room for improvement, without immediate need for outside assistance in order to achieve their goals.
A common problem, however, which faces all these groups is the absence in Boulder of adequate facilities for any of the organizations to perform or display their works."
Present facilities include the university theatre, which now
seats approximately 350 people; the Boulder theatre which seats 900
but which, after its remodeling will be of a lesser seating capacity;
Macky, which seats 2,000; the auditorium in the CU music building;
the University theatre; the Mary Rippon Theatre, which seats 1,000
and is an outdoor theatre; two high school theatres; and the Nomad
'"Report and Recommendations on Cultural Resources of Colorado,
The Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities.
Theatre which seats 170. A major problem faced by local groups is lack
of affordable rentable space. Macky rents for approximately $700 a
night; the Boulder Theatre is $350 a night. The University gets first
dibs on its space. There is a need for small, rentable theatre space
for local dance, mime, and chamber music groups. Rents that would be
suitable are between $25 to $30 a night.'*'
Local performers feel that one of the purposes of a new performing
arts center should be to raise the taste of the community as a whole.
Although the concern of the Boulder community has been described as
fairly apathetic towards the arts and towards the issue of a performing
arts center (according to both Marcalee Gralap and Richard Bell), per
capita, Boulder is a relatively cultural minded community.
Local Boulder groups play in runs and don't tend to pull large
houses. The average house is approximately 70 people.
The playgoing audience would like to see traveling shows, but it
is questionable how well Boulder could draw such groups.
The Boulder community contains a large number of artists, but
gallery space is quite limited.
"The Artist groups in Boulder are vital and active but due to
the absence of adequate facilities in the community are often forced
to hang one show in different facilities in order to accommodate the
works of all the artists who have entered the show."
Thus a new performing arts center which could contain gallery space is sorely needed and has been so far quite some time. It will
*"According to Richard Bell former president of Nomad Players.
Report and Recommendations on Cultural Resources of Colorado, pg. 23.
have to satisfy varying needs for some time to come and thus must be as flexible as possible. It has the capability of being an addition of great value to the community.
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
In 1966 a citizens group, assisted by the city and other agencies raised funds and retained Gruen and Associates to prepare a redevelopment plan for downtown Boulder. This plan, entitled The Boulder Tomorrow Plan included a cultural center.
In 1969 the city developed a $7.5 million bond package which included a new city hall, ten acres of downtown, and underground parking for 300 cars. This plan included some cultural facilities, but was rejected.
In 1973 the university did a study which addressed the question of what a cultural center for the university should be. In 1975, the city did a similar study. A joint study done by both the city and University entitled City/University Center for the Arts was done in March 1976. The consultants were Hideo Sasaki, J. Midyette, and Dale R. Moberg. It is this study which is, with some changes, being used currently as the basis of plans for a cultural arts center.
What was proposed in the Sasaki study was the creation of a performing and visual arts center that could be used jointly by both the city and the university and that could consist of several buildings not necessarily under one roof. The plan recommends the renovation and improvement of several old buildings and the construction of a new one. Macky is to be revised into a concert hall. It is proposed that
the Boulder Theatre, located at the east end of the mall be remodeled. A study for the renovation of Macky has been done. The new building will consist of three theatres; a proscenium theatre, a thrust stage theatre, and an experimental theatre. It is proposed that gallery space be included in a jointly used lobby area. The site now under consideration is located between Canyon and Arapahoe, 13th Street and 14th Street.
Other sites that were considered include alocation at the Crossroads Shopping Center between 28th Street and 30th Street, and Arapahoe and Pearl Street. Also considered was the vacant lot next to the Boulder Theatre at 14th Street and Pearl Street. The downtown lot has the disadvantage of not being owned by the city and being probably too small. The Crossroads Shopping Center is not very close to downtown and does not have the potential of linking the CU campus, the mall, and the park in a continued effort to stimulate activity in Boulder's downtown. The Arapahoe and 14th Street site does have such potential. The only real disadvantage of the Arapahoe and 14th Street site is that it is in a floodplane. I felt this to be the best site and liked its Urban Design potential and thus chose it for the site of my project.
In March and April of 1979, public hearings were held by Phil Tab of Joint Venture and Jay Midyette of Midyette Associates. There was a general meeting, and individual meetings regarding the various performing arts: dance, music, drama, etc. Then there was another general meeting. At the time the meetings began, the proposal included a 750 seat hall. It was felt that such a hall was needed
to attract well-known performers from outside of Boulder and it was felt that a market existed for such performances often enough to justify, economically, the construction of such a hall. These feelings, and the proposal for a 750 seat hall, initiated objections from the performing art community in Boulder. They felt that such a strong market did not really exist and that waht was needed were several smaller halls with rents that could be afforded by local performers. Presently the feeling of the local performing groups is fairly well accepted by all involved and plans now include three small halls.
Also to be included is much needed gallery space.
There is a bond issue presently pending dealing with funding for the construction of the center. The center is to be partially subsidized by the city (about 50-50).
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
To make appropriate facilities available for cultural activities in Boulder.
To construct a cultural facility in Boulder which will adequately serve the needs of the Boulder valley.
To respect economic priority, phasing possibilities and the communities ability to pay.
To emphasize and preserve the important social amenity of cultural activities.
To encourage public participation of varied backgrounds and ages.
To maintain maximum flexibility.
To establish good access from all parts of the Boulder valley and to locate within pedestrian and mass transit areas so that it can be a part of day to day community activities.
1) Site Analysis
The site is located between 13th Street, 14th Street, Arapahoe, and Canyon. The intentions are presently for both the Boulder Center and Midland Bank to remain, and for all else to be removed.
Views are of the mountains, and of the park to the west. The Boulder downtown mall is located two blocks to the north along Pearl Street and includes the four blocks between 11th Street and 15th Street. Thirteenth Street and 15th Street are one-way southbound.
The downtown traffic loop is counterclockwise along 11th, Walnut,
15th, and Spruce (see map). Major vehicular access to the site will be along Broadway and Canyon. Noise from traffic on Canyon could be a problem. Climate factors such as the northwest winter winds should be taken into account.
The Boulder creek runs through the site. The site is located on the flood plainswhich may be a problem. Adjacent to the creek are numerous old trees.
On the blocks directly south of the site is residential use. Immediately north and east are several banks and office buildings.
The Boulder fine arts center is located on the block east of the site. In general there is a feeling of a great deal of greenery and open space surrounding the site. Major pedestrian access will be from the CU campus and from the mall, as well as from the park.
2) Zoning Restrictions
The zone is RBX.
Areas hi the process o residential use to a pr: development at aoartm
The boundaries ox these zoning areas and districts are hereby established as shown on maps entitled 'Zoning District Map of the City of Boulder, Colorado, which maps and all official amendments thereto are hereby mad: a part of this ordinance. These maps and all official amendments thereto may be subject to die following special provisions and interpretations:
Unless otherwise defined on the zoning district maps district boundary lines are lot lines; the centerlines of streets, alleys, railroad rights-of-way or such lines extended; section lines; city limit lines; centerlines of stream beds; or other lines drawn to scale on the zoning district map.
Areas subject to related official City of Boulder regulations may be indicated on the zoning district maps where appropriate.
Section 37-203. Schedule of Requirements
To facilitate public understanding of this ordinance and for the better administration and convenience of use thereof, the following schedule of "uses allowed by right, "uses permitted by special review, and "bulk requirements, regulations for the various zoning districts is hereby adopted and declared to be a part of this ordinance, and may be amended in the same manner as any other part of this ordinance.
(a) .Uses. In each zoning district, any use category not expressly permitted shall be deemed excluded. If a question arises as to whether a specific use does or
motels, hotels and resorts -- including newsstands, gift shoos and similar incidental uses conducted entirely with principal building;
membership clubs -- not conducted primarily for gain;
offices -- includin' insurance and other
vocational, business and private schools and universities;
indoor eating and drinking establishments which may include meal service on an outside patio not more than one-third the size of the indoor eating space;
automobile parking lots
personal services outlets, including, but not limited to, barber and beauty shops, shoe repair shops, self-service laundries dry cleaning outlets, travel agencies and photographic studios;
parking garages; S
gasoline service stations; S
places for the retailing of goods, provided such uses are enclosed in an office, apartment, hotel or motel building and such uses individually or collectively do not exceed 25% of the total floor area of the building and all display and sales areas are located within the building, including, but not limited to, drug, book, delicatessen, stationery, liquor, florist, or specialty apparel shops; S
use allowed by right
use permitted by Special Review only
T3-E C3-E TB-D C3-D
Business Districts (continued)
places for the retailing of goods, provided no individual building or use shall exceed 35,000 sq. ft. in total floor area, including, but not limited to, supermarkets, variety, sporting goods, hardware or radio and television stores; * A
places for the retailing of goods, not limited by total floor area, including,* but not limited to, department store, major comparison
goods store or furniture warehouse store; * S
indoor amusement and entertainment
establishments; * A
mobile home sales, vehicle and vehicle accessory dealers and repair services,
but not including junkyards; * S
commercial uses, including, but not limited to, animal hospitals, cleaning and laundry plants, cold storage lockers, duplicating services, furniture and appliance repair, lumber dealers, paint stores, rental establishments, car washes, transportation centers, building equipment, and wholesaling
services; * S
outdoor eating and drinking establishments; * S
golf courses, outdoor amusement and
entertainment establishments, recreational
buildings and uses; S S
multi-unit dwellings; A A
churches; A A
parks, playfields and playgrounds; A A
use allowed by right
use permitted by special review only
Business Districts (continued]
essential municipal and public utility uses, facilities, services and buildincs
mortuaries and funeral cnapels
more than one use within an individual building when the uses are meant to be complementary or provide places of residence in conjunction with places of employment; furthermore, the uses are permitted in the individual district either by right or have been approved as a special review use;
accessory buildings and uses
boarding and rooming houses, fraternities and sororities, and dormitories.
use allowed by right
use permitted by Special Review only
Flexibility in terms of type of performance the theatre can handle
Dignifiedbut not necessarily elegant
Not a really formal feeling
The report put together by the Citizens for a Boulder Cultural
Center in 1975 includes a survey of active cultural organizations and
other potential users (see pagezo,?,) based on this survey, on a review of all studies and actions related to the development of a cultural center in Boulder from 1968 to present, and on a compilation of similar size and needs throughout the nation, the steering committee arrived at their
"Facilities Recommendations" (see page^.^).
In addition to spaces proposed in the "Facilities Recommendations," the 1975 report suggests the inclusion of storage space for the gallery area consisting of additional space for storage of equipment and furnishings necessary for hanging and displaying art, display cases, pedestals, etc. It should also include extra work space for the reception of new work and space for storage of a possible permanent collection. The study points out that easy access for the public is critical and that traffic patterns to and from the art areas need to be carefully planned for the convenience of the artist and the observer. An outdoor sculpture garden is suggested.
Cirr FOR A BOULDER CULTURAL CENTER. / t
1974 Citizens April 1969 June 1970 1970 City 1973 1973
Group Needs : 1968 Gruen Boulder Arts Bond Elec- Survey After Parks and Univ. of
Facility Committee Study & Humanities tion Bond Defeat Recreation Colorado
Grand Hall 1500 seats 1500 seats city only 2000-2500 if joint venture 1500 seats Yes (208-201) 2500 seats 2400 seats
Theater 12,000 sq. 1 500 seats 500 seats No (269-129) 500 seats 200 (2), 500
ft.no fixed seating 700 seats
Amphitheater 700 seats 700 seats 1000 seats
Exhibit Space 12,000 sq. 20-30,000 5000 sq. ft. 20,000 sq. No (267-138) 25,000 sq.ft. 30,000 sq.ft.
ft. plus sq. ft. ft. 5,000 sq. ft. for 3 gal-
common use gallery leries
Meeting Rooms 5000 sq. ft. 10,000 sq. 10,000 sq. No (242-155) 10,000 sq.ft.
f t. ft.
Classrooms/ Workshops 500 sq. ft. 1600 sq. ft. for 3 rooms
Parking To be deter- 800-1000 300 spaces Assumes 60 400 spaces
mined spaces . \ spaces of downtown parking
Other Common use area New City Hall, Senior Cit. Rehearsal Rehearsal
15,000-30,000 Land Purchase, Ctr. Yes 10,000 sq.ft. 26,000 sq.ft.
sq. ft. Rehear Road Improve. (301-110); Services Film auditoria
sal/Storage Youth Ctr. 5,000 sq. ft. 150,500, and
10,000 sq. ft. Yes (335-78) 50 seats
TOTAL ESTIMATED $4.7 mil. $3.8-$5.8 mil. $7.47 mil. $6-6.8 mil. $15.46 mil.
COST (Buildings only) (Buildings only)
11 1 1 1 viÂ£NtÂ£i
Organization 1 Activities Attendance Now Projected Usage a.m. p.m. eve. Desired Type of Facility
Boulder Prof. Women Meetings/Dinners/Speakers 58 100 2/mo. Meeting room with kitchen facilities
Boulder Mime Theatre Theatre/Recitals/Lcctures Audio-visual/Worlcshops/ Outdoor performances Unlimited 4-5 days/wk/ as needed for workshops Auditorium1000 seats Intimate theatre300 seats Meeting Roomlarge, carpeted Workshops2 Storage
Pollywog Productions Children's Cheatre/Work-shops 200-250 Weekend matinees 1-Sat. 1 any day Intimate theatre200/250 seats Workshops10-15 people/session Rehearsal room
Boulder Potter's Guild Lecture/Exhibition/Sales Audio-visual 30 60-70 J 4 to 6/year 2 2 2 Intimate theatre for lecture/ demonstration60-75 seats Meeting room/kitchen facilities Display areas/glass cases Workshops (A&H Grant continuing)
Boulder Poets Lectures/Readings/Workshops Unlimited and varied 2/mo. Auditorium2400 seats Intimate theatre100+ seats
or Recital Hall100+ seats Office facilities Storage for manuscripts and tape
Boulder Civic Opera Workshop Theatre/Workshops 300 to 1,000 20 for workshops 4/yr. 10/yr, IS/yr. 60/yr. Large Theatre1,000 seats Intimate theatre400 seats Workshops Rehearsal rooms
Boulder Chorale Concerts/Rehearsals 200 400 2/yr. Recital Hall400 seats
* l/wk,~ Rehearsal room Storage
Boulder Area Music Teacher's Assoc. Recitals/Workshops/ 50 Meetings i-300 50-300 30 70-80 35/yr. 9/vr. 2/yr.? Recital Hall Meeting Rooms Rehearsal rooms
GENERAL S L/KVI-J Y S UMMAKX
Organization Activities Now Projected
Boulder Historical Society Lectures/Audio-visual/ Exhibition 50-75 159-200 1
Boulder Arts for Youth Theatre/Lectures/Audiovisual /Exhibit ion/ Workshops/Festivals/ Dance 10-12 10-12?
Boulder Fine Arts Center Lectures/Audio-visual/ Exhibition/Workshops 40 Unlimited
Boulder Art Associ-tion Lectures/Audio-visual/ Exhibition/Workshops 50-100+
Brimstone Potters Lectures/Audio-visual/ Exhibition/Workshops/ Sales 50 7
Handweaver's Guild of Boulder Lectures/Autio-visual/ Exhibition/Workshops/ Sales 40 30-60
a.m. p.m. eve.________Desired Type of Facility
1/yr. 1/mo. 1 Intimate theatre150-200 seat Meeting Room Display areas Storage
5/wk. Display areas Rehearsal Rooms 1
eve. & daytime Meeting Rooms
frequency unknown? Display areas
1/mo. Meeting Rooms # day & eve. frequently Workshops
. Display areas Storage
2/yr. Auditorium50-100 seats Display areas Outdoor display Demonstration area
any-3/yr. any-1/mo. any-38/yr.+l/mo.
6-10/yr. 40/yr. 40/yr.
Auditorium100 seats Meeting Room Workshops Storage
Share office facilities
Auditorium1500 seat Recital Hall Rehearsal
studies and actions related to development of a cultural center in BahTiTer from 1968 to the present; and (3) a compilation of similar projects developed in cities of similar size and similar needs throughout the nation. This information is available on request. The Steering Committee sponsored a public meeting in September to discuss this study and request input and support.
The preliminary findings and recommendations were presented at a public meeting on January 30, 1975. At that meeting the Committee requested that user organizations and interested citizens review the recommendations and respond to the proposal in writing. A number of written communications were received and incorporated into this report. This Committee has also coordinated its work with city departments and is most appreciative of the input from parks and recreation, planning, and the library staff. As a result of this study the Steering Committee for the Citizens for a Boulder Cultural Center presents the following recommendations.
1500 seats Survey information indicated that local
performing organizations would use this facility heavily. It would also attract visiting artists and programs which now have to rely on the scheduling limitations of existing facilities. This type of facility would encourage the organization of new performing groups in the Boulder region. Other users indicated that this type of facility could serve conference functions. The university has expressed interest in a facility of this type, but would recommend a 2500 seat capacity. Other potential users are schools, citizen groups, governmental agencies, and corporate organizations.
Common Use Area
Classrooms and Workshops
rehearsal and Storage Areas
15,000 to 30,000 Although the committee recognized the need square feet
for fixed seat facilities, it also felt that a large open area that could be used for a variety of supportive purposes shoulc be included. Any combination of cultural facilities would require a common lobby area. It was suggested that this area could be expanded to serve a variety of functions including art festivals, fund raising activities, conferences, and other large public gatherings. If this space were used as auxiliary display space for the historical museum and/or art, special security provisions would need to be incorporated into the design.
5000 square feet
Since Boulder is a town of performers as well as patrons, a serious need for workshop space was expressed by those surveyed. These facilities would provide spaces and equipment for demonstrations and educational classes.
5000 square feet
As a result of the variety of functions that would be held in the total facility, areas to accommodate food and beverage and other supportive services would seem appropriate.
10,000 square The Committee recognizes the need for feet
both storage and rehearsal space related to the performing and exhibiting arts. The relationship and ultimate size of this space is a design detail which will be determined in the design process.
12,000 square feet
This facility would provide a display area for local as well as visiting artists, and would include a permanent collection of local art work which would be preserved as examples of 20th century art to be enjoyed by future generations. The gallery would also provide a space for children's art. Special attention concerning security and the protection of displays is necessary for a successful gallery.
performance days per year to serve local group needs. This facility would generate numerous small performing groups. The facility would be designed without permanent seating or stage so it could be used in various ways to satisfy a variety of needs. It could also relate to educational and conference activities. The theatre could also support film art activities. A children's theatre program should be an integral part of the facility.
place the existing facilities. The present 10,000 sq. ft. of display space is inadequate both in total area and the type of space for display.
expressed a need for meeting rooms. If workshop usage becomes continuous, separate meeting rooms should be considered'.
12,000 square The survey indicated a usage of 75-100 feet ,
20,000 square There is a need for a new museum to refeet ,
5000 square feet Many cultural and professional groups
It has been suggested that this might replace the existing Central Park band-shell which needs major improvements and could be better located (away from traffic and street lights). To enhance the indoor outdoor aspect of the cultural center, the amphitheatre should be included in the design of the total facility.
The above recommendations have been listed in the order of what we consider to be the priorities for fulfilling current needs of the Boulder Community. Much discussion and consideration has gone into making these determinations and the results were based on feasibility, economy, and greatest need.
Concert Hall 1500 seats (30,000 sq. ft.) $1,500,000 ($50/sq.ft.)
Common Use Area 20,000 sq. ft. 800,000 ($40/sq.ft.)
Museum 20,000 sq. ft. 600,000 ($30/sq.ft.)
Classrooms and 5000 sq. ft. 150,000 ($30/sq.ft.)
Service Areas 5000 sq. ft. 150,000 ($30/sq.ft.)
Rehearsal and Storage Space 10,000 sq. ft. 250,000 ($25/sq.ft.)
Art Gallery 12,000 sq. ft. 360,000 ($30/sq.ft.)
Theatre 12,000 sq. ft. 600,000 ($50/sq.ft.)
Meeting Rooms 5000 sq. ft. 150,000 ($30/sq.ft.)
Amphitheatre 700 seats (15,000 sq. ft.) 150,000 ($10/sq.ft.)
119,000 sq. ft. (excluding $4,710,000*
sign fees, land improvement costs, and landscaping costs are not included
hi t:ie total estimate.
no > k
The design should be in accordance with the taste and pride that prevail in the immediate Boulder area. The design should not reflect extravagance and ostentation, but quality and taste; and should make a statement about the community.
The design should respect both the park and the indoor-outdoor feeling of the library and other Boulder buildings.
Easy access via car, bus, foot, or bicycle should be incorporated into the design. In working out access circulation the relative location of the CU campus, Boulder's downtown, buspaths, and major vehicular arteries should be taken into account.
The design should encourage pedestrian links to the CU campus and to the mall, and should relate to the library, civic center, and nearby downtown mall.
The design should be as flexible as possible.
500 Seat Proscenium Theatre
Standard proscenium theatre Acoustically right for music Portable shell Hardwood Floor
Designed primarily for music, dance, and opera
20-24 foot height limit on proscenium
250 Seat Thrust Stage Theatre Thrust stage Flexible seating
Acoustically attuned to the human voice Storage
100 Seat Black Box (Experimental Theatre)
Will be used by all groups Grid on ceiling Hardwood floor
Totally flexible bleacher seating Cube or round in form All three should include:
Clean backstage areas
One dressing room for each theatre
Storage that is as secure as possibleseparate for each theatre
Shared public spaces
Possibly a bar or small restaurant
A common lobby sized with the assumption that intermissions do not coinside
A scene shop shared by all three
Architecture for the New Theatre, edited by Edith J. R. Isaacs
Boettcher HallAcoustics, Architectural Record, March 1979.
Citizens for a Boulder Cultural Center '75.
City/University Center for the Arts, Hideo Sasaki, J. Midyette Dale R. Moberg.
Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, William J. MeGuinness and Benjamin Stein.
Program PlanPerforming and Fine Arts Center, University of Colorado, prepared by the Committee for Performing and Fine Arts Center, July 12, 1973.
Report and Recommendations on Cultural Resources of Colorado, the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities.
Small Auditoriums with Open Stages, based on the Designs of James H. Miller.
Theatres and Auditoriums, Burris, Meyer, Cole.
Time Saves Standards for Building Types, De Chiara, Callender.
I would like to acknowledge the help granted me by Jay Midyette, Bill Cummings, Clifford Necatta, Richard Bell, and Marcalee Gralap.
SITE PLAN, MAP AERIAL
^10 SEWER ESMT I I
24 TENIP REtOC.
ACCESS EASEMENT TO MIDLA^O FEDERAL SAVINGS 218919
BOULDER AND LEFTHAND DITCH
2ND ADDI 'NDUM TO
AGRE OPTION TC ,J| :ment 05 PURCHASE
50^ - so