2024 Architecture Commission Online Meeting, March 15

Apr 1, 2024


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:
Janne Auvinen    Finland    
Tim Carey    USA    
Greg Cook    USA    
Tim Foster    UK (vice-chair)    
Peter McKinnon    Canada    
Jacqui George    UAE (Guest)    
Selma Göker Wilson    USA/Turkey    
Robert Hamilton    Canada    
Wes Jenkins    Canada    
Ivo Kersmaekers    Belgium    
Jerome Maeckelbergh    Belgium    
Torsten Nobling    Sweden (vice-chair)    
Peter Ruthven Hall    UK (vice-chair)    
Margaret Shewring    UK    
Robin Townley    UK    
Brad Ward    USA    
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    Introduction

Maaike introduced the meeting and the potential to meet in person later in the year.

2.0    Presentations by Jacqui George

Theatre Architecture Competition TAC 2025
Jacqui (Sharja Performing Arts Academy) shared her proposal for the site in the historic part of Sharjah and the competition brief. The proposed site is the courtyard of Bait Al Obaid Shamsi.  
-    Launch brief on 3 June 2024
-    Submissions by 3 February 2025
-    Display at WSD in Sharja in October 2025
There was a discussion about available materials and the importance of promoting  environmental and sustainable credentials. The brief and information package will be completed in the following months. 

3.0    Presentations by Robert Hamilton

Robert presented designs for a two-theatre project in the remote city of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada: Kamloops Performing Arts Centre. Kamloops is en route between Calgary and Vancouver (1,100km). Kamloops has a population of 100,000; the theatre has a catchment area of 250,000.

1,100-seat lyric theatre roadhouse with orchestra pit and use by the symphony orchestra.
450 seat theatre, single rake of seating with full fly tower.
Designs are being developed with Station One Architects and BKL Acousticians.

4.0    Presentation by Tim Foster

Tim presented the new book: Theatre Buildings-a design guide.

Published by Routledge with the Association of British Theatre Technicians and was edited by Margaret Shewring (present on Zoom).
32 new case studies and new text developing out of a previous volume from over 10 years ago.
Over 60 contributors, experts in their field: architects, consultants, project managers and other theatre professionals.
Available at the ABTT £38.99 https://www.abtt.org.uk/product/theatre-buildings-a-design-guide-new-edition-2023/.

5.0    Extending tenure of Chair to align with other commission election


According to the 4-year term, Architecture Commission should hold election in 2024 for the new chair and vice chairs. Previously in a GB meeting we discussed that it would be better if all the Commission elections are aligned with PQ or WSD. Half of the commissions are aligned with PQ, the other half with WSD. This will draw more participation and also boost the visibility of Architecture commission as well as OISTAT.

The meeting approved that Maaike’s term and the Vice-Chairs will be extended by one year (2020-2025). There were no dissentions from commission members in advance of the meeting.

6.0    Presentation by Jerome Maeckelbergh

Jerome reported on future symposiums and calls for papers. 

DAMU, Prague
May 3: presentation/demonstration of the result of 2 consecutive 5-day workshops “Back to the Future of Heritage Theatre Technology”.

Paris and Versailles
July 1-2-3: International conference: “Visual Dramaturgies (1500 -1800)”, which is focused on a public of historians, but where I will have a time slot of 2 hours on 2 July in Versailles to promote the contemporary use of our alternatives for heritage theatre technology, together with DAMU workshop participants.

October 16-17: Prague PQ Symposium “Technologies” with a public of contemporary theatre makers. Together with Jan Štěpánek, head of the scenography department, DAMU and theatrEurope are preparing a joint proposal around the renaissance of heritage theatre technology in contemporary theatre architecture and theatrical productions.

7.0    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.

7.1    On-line Meetings throughout 2024

Friday 7 June 15.00-17.00 
October – Romania Visit
Friday 13 December 15.00-17.00 Central European Time

7.2    2024 Romania

The invitation has been issued by the OISTAT Rumanian Centre for a week of activities in October 2024. 12 members of the Architecture Commission have expressed interest in attending. Please let us know if you would like further information.

This will be a join meeting of the Costume Design Working Group. The dates coincide with the Bucharest Scenography Biennale (since 1967) and the renowned Romanian Theatre Festival.

A costume exhibition, visits, tours, etc. are scheduled between October 23 – October 26. The common dinner of the commissions will be on Saturday, October 26.
Besides the OISTAT Architecture Commission meetings agenda, the participants will be involved in the BSB national and international events such as conferences, presentations, a tour of the Bucharest theatres, meetings with Romanian theatre professionals and theatre architects, a visit at the University of Architecture "Ion Mincu" – Bucharest and seeing some of the best recent Romanian theatre productions.

The organizers of BSB will provide two dinner receptions for the international OISTAT participants, access to all the Biennale events, including tickets for a few theatres shows, and a tour of Bucharest theatres.

For the interested participants, we added a day bus trip to visit the Royal Peles Castle of Sinaia. If the program will be too busy, this trip should take place on Sunday October 27. (The cost per person is 50 EUROS and includes bus transportation and lunch). So, if interested please arrange your departure accordingly, and send us in time the number of interested participants.

Due to the budget restrictions, each participant is expected to cover their travel and accommodation costs. We will submit individual invitations for members applying for travel grants.

7.3    October 2025 Sharjah, Dubai

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

7.4    2026 Greek and Roman Theatres in Turkey

Tim suggested this would be worth considering and will start to plan ahead together with Selma.

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