2023 Architecture Commission Online Meeting, November 24

Dec 18, 2023


1.1    This meeting was held on-line.

1.2    The following participated in the video conference meeting using ‘Zoom’:

OISTAT Headquarters:
Yi-Shan    Taiwan

Members and Guests:
Greg Cook    USA    
Tim Foster    UK (vice-chair)    
Selma Göker Wilson    Guest-Turkey    
Gabriella Hoegg    Germany    
Anne Minors    UK    
Torsten Nobling    Sweden (vice-chair)    
Peter Ruthven Hall    UK (vice-chair)    
Maaike Westinga    Netherlands (chair)    

Reinhold Daberto    Germany    
Jeong-Sik Yoo    Individual-Korea (vice-chair)

As this was an on-line meeting this is a record of those that joined the meeting for part of it, if not for the full duration. The contact details will be added to the OISTAT circulation list for the Architecture Commission. Anyone wishing to be added to this list or to update their details can email OISTAT HQ with a request.

1.0    Introduction3

Maaike introduced the meeting and the potential to meet in person later in the year of 2024.
There are a few possibilities, but it’s clear that we have to meet in person again. The participation in the online meetings is decreasing. 

Maaike offered an update on WSD 2025. Getting in contact with the WSD organisation team is difficult. We still haven’t connection with someone who can help finding a site for the TAC. That’s the biggest worry, because we have to make sure that the brief will be send out to universities and schools by June 2024.

2.0    Presentations by Anne Minors

Anne Minors introduced three projects under the title or repurposing existing buildings.

1.    London Woolwich Works (UK)
Re-use of the former ammunitions factory within the armoury buildings.
Architect: Bennetts Associates
Acoustician: Paul Gillieron Acoustics
The proposal looked at a wider range of potential uses including music, orchestral practice and performance, dance and as a home base for company Punch Drunk experiential theatre. 

2.    London Battersea Power Station – World Heart Beat Academy (UK)
Development of part the old power station site. World Heart Beat provide music studios and a performance space.

3.    London Barbican Theatre (UK)
Designed as a dedicated home for the Royal Shakespeare Company who were planning to leave this as their London base after many years. The theatre bears idiosyncrasies of the director Peter Hall and designer John Bury partnership when leading the RSC (even though they had moved on to the National Theatre by the time the building opened). There was an opportunity to covert the theatre to more flexible use across a range of performance types including: conversion to suit the Royal Opera House while their building was being developed as well as development for international theatre seasons.

3.0    Presentations by Torsten Nobling

Torsten offered insight into two current aspects associated with Den National Scene in Oslo:

Oslo Den National Scene
Sightline model showing comparison of views for different stalls seating rakes.
Proposal for new theatre on adjacent site where only the fly tower visible above ground

4.0    Future Meetings and Activities

The Architecture Commission needs to make plans for future activities and meetings. AC aims to meet at least once a year to provide an opportunity for anyone with an interest in theatre buildings to meet, to visit theatre buildings and to hold meetings and seminars with local practitioners. Besides that, a few digital meetings each year will be added to the program.

4.1    On-line Meetings throughout 2024

Friday 15 March 15.00-17.00 Central European Time
Friday 14 June 15.00-17.00 Central European Time
October – Romania Visit
Friday 13 December 15.00-17.00 Central European Time

4.2    2024 Romania

Looking ahead, there is much interest in a visit to Romania which would coincide with a meeting of the Costume Commission, based in Bucharest. Romania has a new OISTAT Centre so it would be good to meet with their representatives and to share the spirit of OISTAT. The visit is likely to start on a Thursday and conclude on a Sunday but the dates have yet to be agreed within the month.

We have guidance from Jean-Guy Lecat, Umberto di Nino, Nic Ularu. and a new Romanian OISTAT Centre to help plan this visit which may include visits to as many of the theatres that will accept us within the available time.

Bucharest ARCUB
Bucharest The Bulandra
Bucharest Circus
Bucharest National Opera House
Bucharest National Theatre of Bucharest
Bucharest Odeon
Bucharest Old Jewish Theatre
Bucharest Teatrul Metropolis

4.3    October 2025 Sharjah, Dubai, WSD 2025 and TAC 2025 (t.b.d.)
will be held at Sharjah Performing Arts Academy (SPAA), United Arab Emirates.

Suggestions to increase participation are always welcomed so please assist by raising the profile of the AC in your own country. AC activities are open to anyone with an interest in theatre buildings.

Presentation of work is to be encouraged and should become a more prominent feature of 
on-line meetings. Please consider this in anticipation of when we next meet.

Notes compiled by Peter Ruthven Hall with Maaike Westinga. 
For questions, suggestions or to schedule a presentation:
ruthvenh@gmail.com; maaike@tenbraswestinga.nl