Theatre Projects contributes to new book on multipurpose arts centers

November 21, 2016

Sébastien Jouan, principal acoustic consultant, and Thierry Saclier Arquian, theatre designer and architect—both from our Paris Studio, were contributors to the new book, Designing and Building a Multi-Purpose Performing Art Centre, published in October 2016. The book, authored by Sonia Ocello Monvoisin, details the cultural and historic importance of multipurpose theatres, as well as their value in urban developments, trends in their design, and technical recommendations for their design, programming, and operation.

Though focused primarily on multipurpose facilities, the book delves into the history of theatres from Greco-Roman times, through the Renaissance, and into the modern era with detailed explanations of classical concert halls, drama theatres, and contemporary opera houses. By detailing the history and trajectory of theatre design, and ways the form of multipurpose theatres met public demand, the book elegantly explains the scenic constraints to consider for a multipurpose space to respond to each use.

“This book will highlight the importance of the theatre designer and the acoustician in the design process,” Sebastian said. “It will be significant for the design of new multipurpose halls in France. It’s aimed at city stakeholders and architects and will become a key document to use during the design process of such buildings in the future. Our involvement on the acoustic and theatre design chapters was fundamental to the creation of the book.”

The publisher’s synopsis says, “A multipurpose performing arts center has to be considered as one of the places emblematic of the 'living together', a place to express opinions and talents, a place indicator of the dynamism of a territory and its inhabitants. Space for meetings, exchanges and sharing, the multipurpose performing arts center should meet the needs of constituents as well as urban issues and various regulatory requirements (acoustic comfort, scenic requirements, accessibility etc.) but also financial and budgetary constraints.”

The book was published by French editor Le Moniteur, and features contributions from other theatre consultants, acousticians, and architects, including Brigitte Métra, of Métra + Associés Architectes, who worked on the Paris Philharmonie Concert Hall and Ilham Laraqui from Paris-based architecture workshop, Laraqui-Bringer.

Theatre Projects contributes to new book on multipurpose arts centers
Credit: Theatre Projects