The Architecture of Performance / The Performance of Architecture

4th-Year Architectural Design Studio at the International
Program in Design and Architecture (INDA), Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Studio Professor - Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong

Friday, January 31, 2014

Performance Space Precedents, by Samascha Samcharoen

Various performance spaces have undergone several metamorphosis from the so-called 'traditional' design into an experimental spaces.  This blog will guide you through all the precedents in a chronological order so that you will be able to observe the changes and some preserved similarities within each  performance spaces.   Which aspects of changes are significant; which are subtle, in the course of 50 years period..?


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 Sydney Opera House 
One of the most original performance spaces that situated in the heart of Sydney.  This architectural masterpiece serves not only as an opera house but also a symbolic architecture representing Australia. Situated adjacent to the body of water, Sydney Opera House can be seen from afar; making it a national landmark.  Due to its construction date in 1959, the opera hall design is consider traditional and very generic; making it one of the predecessors of today's contemporary opera house.
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 Guangzhou Opera House
Although the exterior resembles that of a futuristic architecture, Guangzhou Opera House still execute the typical design of the performance spaces.  The opera hall resembles that of Sydney Opera House which are rather typical and generic whether in terms of seatings arrangement, light , and volume.
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  Oslo Opera House
The special features of this opera house are the aperture that allows natural light to penetrate into interior space. 
Another unique features include the elevator that allows the stage to move up or down; making it more flexible for various types of performances.  Oslo Opera Hall pulled itself from generic design and began to be revolutionary in its design in terms of new features which include elevator, light aperture, and larger spatial volume.
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 Open-air Pavillion
Open-air Pavillion, as its name stated, is situated in an open public space in Austria.  The open-space performance area is different from any other precedents in terms of acoustics, light, and seatings capacity.  Seatings has to be lesser in numbers due to the needs of acoustics control.  Natural light is crucial to the space which is the main source of lighting.  Acoustics tend to be disperse in an open area and is not contained like other close-space opera house.  
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 Shenzhen Concert Hall
Although Shenzhen Concert Hall was built back in 1998, the concert hall design is considered to be one of the more revolution ones.  The acoustics qualities are considered to be top-notch by various acousticians from all around the world.  
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 Taipei Performing Arts Center
The most revolutionary performance space of all the previous precedents.  The building comprises of three independent performance spaces which include proscenium theater, Grand theater and multiform theater.  The three spaces could be combined into one gigantic performance spaces that allows flow of audiences from 360 degrees point of views, making it one of the most innovative and flexible performance spaces ever designed.