DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
CHAPTER 3: PRIMARY AND SECONDARY USES
the action, but out of direct line of sight. It
enables eye contact between the conductor
and musicians and singers. It also enables
singers and musicians to hear themselves
best. Grand opera requires an especially large
pit (80 musicians) and careful acoustic design.
This design often reflects the nature of opera
music; the pit has a mainly reverberant con-
tribution at low intensity so as not to over-
power voice intelligibility. The deep Bayreuth
pit was developed expressly for Wagnerian
opera, giving an eerie non-directional sound.
3-7. PRIMARY AND
A. FUNCTIONAL RELATIONSHIP OF
STAGE TO ROOM
No single stage form can best satisfy the func-
tional requirements of all performance types.
But a given stage form can often accommodate
more than one performance type:
1. Where the secondary performance type makes
the best of the circumstances and accepts/
adapts to limitations of the primary form.
2. Where some or all of the necessary additional
facility is built into the primary form.
3. Where temporary demountable modifica-
tions are provided to facilitate secondary use.
Opera or Dance
4. Where the best primary configuration is com-
promised to adapt to secondary uses.
In terms of primary use, the four alternatives
above are listed in descending order to desira-
bility. While single-purpose Rooms are typically
best suited to their uses, the likelihood is that
some degree of multi-use will exist. Unfortu-
nately the prevalent tendency to begin with
multi-use as a major design objective too often
leads, to disappointing, costly failures. Attempts
to "install" flexibility take the form of mechanical
devices; apron lifts and moving walls are the
usual culprits. See Section 3-8 for discussion.
Careful attention must be given to the Program
Emphasis considerations discussed under 2-3,
Establishing Program Goals. Section 3-15, Com-
F I G U R E 3-7.1
FOUR KINDS OF SINGLE-PURPOSE ROOMS