DESIGN GUIDE: MUSIC AND DRAMA CENTERS
C H A P T E R 3: AUDIENCE SUPPORT
isfaction. Crowding, confusion, long waits and
Manager for a heavy schedule of incoming tour-
discomfort lend a negative note at the outset.
ing shows and professional musicians). This ef-
fort must be matched by the Technical Director's
The desired social ambience of a live perfor-
ability to meet production schedules with a high
mance can be reinforced by the architecture. This
level of artistic quality. The routine operations
is less a matter of decor and finishes than of
of maintenance, inventory upkeep, ticketing and
administrative direction is the task of the House
emphasis, scale and organization of space use,
attributes that can establish impressions of
Manager. Peak output involves both combined
grandness, ceremonial ritual, participatory in-
and separate activity at various times, so an ef-
volvement, club-like exclusiveness, or commu-
ficient but flexible office design is very important.
nity openness. Any of these images may be ap-
p r o p r i a t e , b u t one s h o u l d b e c h o s e n a n d
Administrative facilities are usually located ad-
expressed by design.
jacent the public entry for efficiency; although
program emphasis may make other arrange-
The public's introduction should of course be
ments more beneficial. The administration rep-
related to primary performance content and the
resents the facility to the public and should be
way the Room "feels". Since the Room design
accessible. Location and accessibility of staff is
a factor in establishing a public image.
is of primary importance, its development pre-
cedes and aids that of public support space. The
Entry control and ticketing are staff operations
relationship may be by contrast, providing a dis-
of an on-going nature, and public access for
tinctly inviting, lively, open environment in relief
other than audience purposes should be con-
to a closed, centered interior. It may also be re-
fined to avoid interruption of performance prep-
aration. This will also make for efficient building
currence of design theme culminating in the
operations since office activity during regular
hours does not always coincide with artistic and
A second consideration is the environmental
context of the MDC. Public entry is a transition.
Then again, an extensive "hands-on" training
The building's setting will also have a strong in-
program or road show schedule can shift the
fluence on the function of public spaces (see dis-
non-performance activity center to the backstage
cussions under Sections 2-5 and 2-9). Physical
areas, making administrative facilities there a
conditions of topography, climate, access and
convenience that allows public spaces to be
egress routes, site dimensions and neighboring
shutdown when not in use. The main concern is
land and building uses must be taken into ac-
that box office and limited daytime public access
count. For instance, an axial rectangular geom-
is not impeded; administrative activity does not
etry may be impractical even if appropriate.
usually occur during performance hours.
The function of transitional design is to adjust
3. Service Functions
to external factors in a natural way, in order to
These are generally related to public use al-
spare the Room this necessity. A building in an
though a split front-end arrangement mentioned
urban setting is usually expected to respond to
above may result in split services accordingly.
the order and scale of its neighbors and give
Functions requiring public access or contact, are
something to the quality of the street. A building
of course associated with the lobby. Functions
in a natural or suburban setting is usually ex-
limited to staff access may be situated in asso-
pected to conform to landscape features and re-
ciation with administrative offices.
frain from intrusion on the daily lives of inhab-
itants. On the other hand, the building may have
Public access services typically include a coat
special meaning and pride of place to the com-
checking facility, food and beverage service or
munity, justifying a prominent stance.
vending machine area, first aid and ladies lounge.
Staff access services typically include ushers'
2. Staff Functions
lockers, a supply room for sundries, programs,
The definition and organization of staff offices
chainposts, etc., and a custodial supply and mop
is related to staff size and level of activity. A busy
closet. Some special service functions are not
production schedule entails extensive clerical
essential to the conduct of performance, but are
work, bookkeeping, mail handling and telephone
included if deemed important to program goals.
They might be found in education-oriented fa-
the work of a Program Director (or Bookings