From the 1950s on through to the first decade of the third millennium new theatres and entertainment venues have made their mark on towns and cities all around the world, from Berlin to Sidney, Los Angeles to Rome, and Porto to Almere.
From its origins theatre design had to conform to certain specifications, that conditioned its architecture, size, shape and the juxtaposition of the area designated for the audience and the stage set aside for the performance.
Occasionally the attempt to overcome these restrictions has led contemporary architects to explore daring new solutions with far-reaching consequences and this book offers a synthesis of their attempts, presented in two complementary sections.
The introduction covers the main avenues of research carried out from experiments up until the most recent formal expressions. Many designers concentrate on the formal and technological nature of the theatre’s outer shell, which is detached from the conformation of the building’s internal configuration and seen more in relation to its setting.
At the same time attempts have been made to overcome the traditionally introverse, closed environment of the theatre and open it up into a wider space, while multiplying the services the public can access in an attempt to render the venue increasingly flexible.
On the sound foundation of this explanatory introduction, the second part of the book goes on to describe sixteen projects, chosen for their intrinsic quality and originality that span over half a century from the 1950s to the present day.