2024 Architecture Commission Online Meeting, June 7

Jul 1, 2024


1.1    This meeting was held on-line.

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

OISTAT Head Quarters:

Members and Guests:
    Janne Auvinen    Finland    
    Kate Burnett (part)    UK    
    Aby Cohen    UK    
    Greg Cook    USA    
    Tim Foster    UK (vice-chair)    
    Robert Hamilton    Canada    
    Pu Lin    Taiwan    
    Jerome Maeckelbergh    Belgium    
    Rosanne Muniz (part)    Brasil    
    Torsten Nobling    Sweden (vice-chair)    
    Peter Ruthven Hall    UK (vice-chair)    
    Lian The (part)    Netherlands    
    Nic Ularu    Romania    
    Maaike Westinga    Netherlands (chair)    
    Jeong-Sik Yoo    Individual-Korea (vice-chair)    
    Markus Reisinger    Germany    

    Reinhold Daberto    Germany    

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 in Bucharest.

2.0    Bucharest Visit Wednesday 23 – Saturday 26 October - by Nic Ularu

The invitation has been issued by the OISTAT Rumanian Centre for a week of activities in October 2024. 17 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.
Due to the budget restrictions, each participant is expected to cover their travel and accommodation costs. The Romanian Centre can submit individual invitations for members applying for travel grants from their own theatre centres or universities, though this may not apply to architects.

Additional Activities (by Nic Ularu):
•    We plan to organize an exhibition with the projects of renovations for three main theatres in Romania:
The National Theatre of Cluj
The National Theatre of Craiova
The Hungarian Theatre of Cluj
•    We want to organize meetings/discussions with the Romanian architects for those projects.
•    The Architecture Commission can visit the University of Architecture “Ion Mincu” Bucharest and meet with professors and students. There is an open call for presentations of about 20 mins long. We have two sessions for presentations and discussion.
•    There will be a tour of the Bucharest theatres together with the Costume Group.
•    Optional: we can include a visit of the Village Museum that displays houses from all the regions of Romania.
•    In the program is an optional trip to Sinaia to see the Peles Museum.

The exhibition and the activities will take place at the National Theatre of Bucharest, which is situated in centre of Bucharest. There is a multitude of hotels in the walking distance from the theatre, and Airbnb apartments. Next week we’ll try to get a small conference discount from some hotels, and I will be more specific if this will happen. A map and list of hotels will follow but any in the centre would be reasonably priced for you to make your own arrangements.

Transportation from and to the airport:
The best way is to take an Uber or Bolt. The price to the Bucharest centre is about 100 Ron (Romanian money) = 20 EUROS. Nic strongly recommends this because the taxi drivers can overcharge you.


October 22
October 23
October 24
October 25
October 26
October 27
  Opening of costume exhibition and welcome meeting Opening of Theatre Architecture Exhibition at University of Architecture

Architecture presentations 1 at University (open call)

Jean-Guy Lecat (90 mins)
Sessions with Romanian architects and students

Architecture presentations 2 at University (open call)

(90 minutes)
Early travel to Sinaia Leave
Costume Group arrive Architects arrive Historical city tour of Bucharest Visit to Bucharest Theatres including 7 spaces at the NTB Royal Peles Museum and theatre at Sinaia: €50 charge  
   Reception MEAL   Return travel  
Set up 3D costume exhibition Welcome Dinner with Costume Group (no charge) Performance at National Theatre (no charge, but arrangement on your own)  Performance at National Theatre (no charge, but arrangement on your own) Dinner with Costume Group (no charge)  

3.0    Update on Theatre Architecture Competition TAC 2025 by Maaike Westinga
The brief has been completed and is now available.
It has already been circulated in Sharja and neighbouring countries but we all need to ensure it reaches out school of architecture before terms end. The professional architectural body in each country should be able to provide a list of schools on request.
Belgium – Jerome
Canada - Robert
Denmark – Torsten
Korea – Jeong-Sik
The Netherlands – Maaike
Norway – Torsten
Sweden – Torsten
Taiwan – Pu Lin
UAE – Jacqui (Maaike will ask)
UK – Tim, via RIBA
US - Greg

Outline details are available here:

The brief is for a temporary theatre to be constructed in the courtyard of Bait Al Obaid Shamsi in the historic part of Sharja for six months of each year.
-    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 June 2024. 

4.0    Presentation on Bristol Beacon by Peter Ruthven Hall
There have been four concert halls on the site since 1867 with the latest opening in 2023.

Architects: Levit Bernstein; Acoustician: Bob Essert of Sound Space Vision; Theatre Consultants: Charcoalblue.

5.0    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
October 23-26 – Romania Visit
Friday 13 December 15.00-17.00 Central European Time

7.1    Other Activities throughout 2024

Paris and Versailles
July 1-2-3: International conference: “Visual Dramaturgies (1500 -1800)”, which is focused on a public of historians, but where Jerome 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.

7.3    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