the                 C
                                 AST letter

                ARTS BUILDINGS
     Architects and clients may assume        additional project funding. The LEED           waste-water management and may be
that energy efficient “green” strategies      certification uses a point system in which     considered for green roof installations.
and performing arts buildings are mutu-       every “green” advancement wins a point         The large walls and high roofs may pro-
ally exclusive, but this does not have to     toward a total rating ranging from a base      vide opportunities for power using solar
be the case. Many of the established cri-     level of Certified to higher qualifications    panels or wind generation. Depending on
teria for green building design apply quite   of Silver, Gold and Platinum.                  solar advantages and disadvantages,
readily to performing arts venues. Effec-          The following is a description of         glass-front public lobbies can be oriented
tive “green” design is simply smart and       some of the areas where “green” design         in directions to maximize energy efficiency.
efficient design that takes into considera-   can be achieved in performing arts build-
tion proper urban planning, re-use of ma-     ing design projects.                           Building operations: Heat and cooling
terials, conservation of energy and natural                                                  efficiency, reductions in the use of water,
resources, and effective operation of the     Site selection: The choice of urban loca-      and effective management of wastewater
building. ASTC theatre consultants are        tions that do not threaten green space and     all bring LEED points. Under-floor
increasingly called upon to work within       the use of alternative transportation          HVAC supply “displacement” systems
building design teams to promote and          sources (public transit, bicycles and alter-   are a natural fit for LEED credit; their
achieve optimum levels of “green” design      native vehicles) are fundamental issues        efficiency greatly exceeds that of ceiling
in performing arts building projects.         pertinent to effective green design. Per-      supply systems. These systems fit well
     The US Green Building Council has        forming arts centers are often located in a    into audience chambers, where some of
developed its LEED (Leadership in En-         town center near existing utility services,    the greatest heat loading is found. In
ergy and Environmental Design) rating         public transportation and parking.             stagehouse fly towers, natural venting
system to establish what makes a building                                                    may be considered, as well as heat collec-
“green”. Many clients and municipalities      Building envelope, mass, and exterior:         tion systems to gather heat generated by
are actively encouraging projects to          Water management, roof heat control,           stage lighting instruments. Renewable
achieve a LEED rating. Some cities are        material selection and orientation in re-      energy sources and power co-generation
rewarding “green” initiatives with finan-     spect to sunlight are primary LEED is-         have LEED value.
cial incentives such as tax reductions or     sues. The long-span roofs of theatres and                               (Continued on page 2)
                                              stagehouses can provide catchments for

                                                                                             discussion, the user group (theatre, music
 “…JUST A STAGE HE’S GOING THROUGH…”                                                         and dance departments) elected to pursue
        A Survey on Stage Floor Design                                                       the Technical Director’s choice, which
                                                                                             they felt was most desirable from the per-
     On a recent multi-purpose theatre        had worked on at his previous theatre:         spectives of performance and cost. While
project, the design of the stage floor be-    “Masonite” over plywood. What’s a              this particular situation was resolved, it
came the subject of considerable debate.      theatre consultant to do? He conducted a       left the theatre consultant to wonder what
The Theatre Consultant recommended            non-scientific survey of online tech rid-      his peers were recommending on their
stained hardwood, tongue & groove strip       ers, which confirmed that existing per-        projects, so he requested some informal
wood floorboards. The flooring contrac-       formance facilities typically utilize          feedback. This survey asked specifically
tor, accustomed to gymnasium floors,          tongue & groove strip wood floorboards,        about the top surface; the resilient sub-
advocated his standard gymnasium floor        usually constructed of some species of         structure is a separate topic, best left for
product. The newly hired facility Techni-     hardwood.                                      another discussion.
cal Director wanted the same floor that he         After a mockup and considerable                                    (Continued on page 3)

                                                                                                                       ASTC Fall 2004
                        The Theatres in Millennium Park
                                                     Chicago, Illinois
     Two new theatres                                                                                         reinforcement system
reside back to back in Chi-                                                                                   and the acoustic en-
cago’s Millennium Park.                                                                                       hancement system, ar-
The Harris Theatre is a                                                                                       chitect Frank O. Gehry
1,500 seat indoor theatre                                                                                     designed a unique pipe
that serves as the primary                                                                                    trellis that spans 300 ft
performance venue for                                                                                         x 600 ft over the audi-
over 15 mid-sized perform-                                                                                    ence.
ance companies, including                                                                                           These two theatres
Hubbard Street Dance, The                                                                                     were completely sepa-
Chicago Sinfonietta, and                                                                                      rate developments that
Chicago Opera Theatre.                                                                                        were wedded after the
There is a great deal of flexibility built    Events. Pritzker Pavilion features the         design processes for both theatres were
into this theatre, including a significant    only electronic acoustic enhancement           well under way. The proximity of the
adjustable acoustics system with retract-     system to be installed in an outdoor thea-     two stages, together with the fact that
able side wall banners and overhead           tre; this system provides for the audience     their performance seasons overlap only
tracked curtains, in order to provide         a highly authentic simulation of the           slightly, provided the opportunity for
uncompromising room acoustics for eve-        acoustic environment of an indoor con-         them to share backstage facilities, includ-
rything from Music of the Baroque to          cert hall. In order to array all of the        ing dressing rooms, lounges, and receiv-
dance concerts utilizing pre-recorded am-     speakers required for both the audio           ing docks.
plified music tracks.
     Pritzker Pavilion is an outdoor music
theatre with a capacity of 11,000 – 4,000
fixed seats plus 7,000 on the lawn. It is
home to the Grant Park Orchestra and
Chorus, which present the only remaining
free professional classical concert series
in the U.S. The theatre also presents a
wide array of concerts under the sponsor-
ship of the Mayor’s Office of Special

(GREEN—Continued from page 1)                 Environmental Quality: Establishing sys-       Innovation: Performing arts venues
Conservation of materials: Retaining a        tems such as high Indoor Air Quality,          provide opportunities for significant in-
significant portion of the building during    Environmental Tobacco Smoke Control,           novation in architectural and mechanical
a renovation, diverting construction mate-    and carbon monoxide monitoring win             system design, and other innovative ideas
rials from landfills, using locally avail-    LEED points, as does the use of construc-      for energy and environment are waiting
able materials, and re-using portions of      tion and finish products with low emis-        to be developed.
building materials are significant LEED       sion of Volatile Organic Compounds
values. These all reduce the amount of        (VOC’s).                                            ASTC theatre consultants are ac-
“embodied energy” – whether in extraction,                                                   tively involved with projects throughout
manufacturing, or shipping of materials -     Daylighting: Daylight and views for all        the country using a wide range of LEED-
represented in the building. Elements of      occupants of the building are encouraged,      recognized approaches to achieve
stage systems – the steel in the stage rig-   although with performing arts buildings it     successful theatre renovations and new
ging, the copper in the wiring, or the        must be recognized that not all spaces are     constructions. Work with your ASTC
wood of the stage floor – may be oppor-       appropriate for daylighting. Remember,         theatre consultant to apply them to your
tunities for local sourcing.       Existing   though, that a performing arts facility will   project.
structural elements may be candidates for     be a full-time office environment for cer-
potential re-use. Old-growth wood sal-        tain staff members. Offices and shops are          Todd Hensley, ASTC
vaged from the columns and beams of           some of the best opportunities for win-            Robert Long, ASTC
demolished buildings can often be used        dows and views.
for excellent stage flooring material.

2                                                                                                                      ASTC Fall 2004
                                                                            ASTC NEWS
                                                     The American Society of Theatre Con-             At Auerbach Pollock Friedlander, Tom
                                                sultants was recognized by the U.S. Institute    Neville, ASTC, has been promoted to Princi-
                                                for Theatre Technology (USITT) at the an-        pal, and Grace Gavin, ASTC, has been pro-
                                                nual conference in Long Beach in March, in       moted to Senior Associate. A new book by
                                                honor of the 20th anniversary of the ASTC.       Charles Swift, ASTC, “Introduction to Stage
                                                The ASTC also presented a seminar on the         Lighting”, has just been published by Meri-
                                                Past, Present, and Future of Theatre Design.     wether Publishing. Joshua Dachs, ASTC,
                                                                                                 will serve on the USITT 2005 Architecture
                                                     The ASTC held its Annual Meeting in         Awards jury.
                                                Dallas-Fort Worth in February. The topic
                                                was “Food, Beverage, and Marketing in the             Jack P. Hagler, ASTC, has been
                                                Front of House”. ASTC members toured             promoted to Principal at Schuler Shook. Kyle
                                                Next Stage, a new 6,000 seat theatre in Grand    Smith, ASTC, and his wife Ann were married
                                                Prairie, and they hosted a discussion with in-   on October 6 in Asheville, NC. Michael
                                                vited guests Paul Beard, Managing Director       Mell, ASTC, is participating in the ACE
Harris Theater for Music and Dance              of Bass Hall in Fort Worth, and William          Mentoring Program, which gives inner city
(above)                                         Eaton, President of Cini-Little, food service    high school students an introduction to archi-
Architect: Hammond Beeby Rupert Ainge           consultants.                                     tecture, engineering, and the building trades.
Theatre Consultant: Schuler Shook
Acoustics Consultant: Jaffe Holden                    ASTC’s Forum 2004 was held in                    The ASTC 2005 Annual Meeting will be
Acoustics                                       Denver in September. ASTC members                held in Chicago in February, and ASTC’s
Completed: October 2003                         toured a great many theatres in the Denver       Forum 2005 will be held in Las Vegas and
Construction Cost: $52.7 million                area, including the Denver Center for the Per-   will concentrate on theatres that are built for
                                                forming Arts, the King Center at the Auraria     specific productions. The ASTC is one of the
                                                Higher Education Center, and the Newman          Event Partners for Auditoria Expo, which will
Jay Pritzker Pavilion (left)                    Center for the Performing Arts at the Univer-    take place on April 14 and 15 in Vienna, Aus-
Architect: Gehry Partners                       sity of Denver.                                  tria. ASTC members will present a seminar
Theatre Consultant: Schuler Shook                                                                related to theatre planning as part of this sig-
Acoustics Consultant: TALASKE                        Benton Dellinger, Stephen Placido, and      nificant international event.
Completed: July 2004                            Charles Swift have been accepted as Mem-
Construction Cost: $38 million                  bers of the Society. Joshua Grossman was
                                                accepted as an Associate Member.

(FLOORS—Continued from page 1)                  cluded Maple, Red Oak and White Oak.             wise), several respondents related the dif-
     Numerous responders indicated that              The depth and desired orientation of        ficulties of permanently staining dense
drama & dance theatres are best suited to       strip wood floors drew responses indicat-        hardwoods like maple. They suggested
plywood or MDF substrate with some              ing a preference for boards that are up to       the use of aniline dye or alcohol- or oil-
sort of tempered hardboard, such as Ma-         33/32” (milled size of nominal 5/4”              based penetrating stains. There was also
sonite “Duron” or linoleum covering that        stock) to develop strength and the ability       relative consensus of opinion concerning
facilitates inexpensive routine mainte-         to endure multiple sandings before re-           the use of latex based paint with matte
nance and repeated recoloration. Many           quiring replacement. All agreed that the         finish for floors with sheet stock finish.
agreed that strip flooring is best suited for   boards should be oriented across stage so             Request for the identification of
music venues and other facilities where         as not to create forced perspective and so       secrets and insights to consider brought
the visual appearance of the flooring is        as to minimize the rumble of castered            numerous informative responses like en-
important.                                      wagons rolling on and off stage. The             suring the buy-ability and build-ability of
     Some of the most surprising re-            width of the boards was subject to differ-       the floor based on available wood spe-
sponses concerned the variety of desired        ences of opinion as some advocated 2-            cies, geography, and the capabilities of
wood species for tongue & groove strip          1/2” to 3” and others felt boards up to 4”       the flooring contractor. Multi-purpose
wood flooring. Numerous responses               or 5” were more appropriate.                     floors designed to accept lag bolts and
indicated preference for softwoods in-               The responses concerning desired            drop cloth tacks present one set of
cluding edge-grain, quarter-sawn yellow         stage floor color were largely as ex-            requirements, while recital halls often
pine, although others qualified this choice     pected. While almost everyone expressed          require flooring that would look at home
saying that it is too soft for “heavy-duty”     their preference for dark hued or black          in a palace. Outdoor stages may require
use.     Typical hardwood selections in-        stages (unless program determined other-                                    (Continued on page 4)

3                                                                                                                            ASTC Fall 2004
The following theatre and assembly projects are in various         LANDRY & BOGAN
stages of design and construction in ASTC members’ offices:        Portland Center Stage Armory Theater, Portland, OR
                                                                   East Los Angeles College Performing and Fine Arts Complex,
ARTEC                                                              Los Angeles CA
Barbara & David Loeb PAC, Germantown Friends School,               Delores Doré Eccles Fine Arts Center, St. George, UT
Philadelphia, PA
New Recital Hall, Utah State University, Logan, Utah               LUSTIG & ASSOCIATES
National Philharmonic Hall, Budapest , Hungary                     Missouri Methodist Church Columbia, Missouri

AUERBACH · POLLOCK · FRIEDLANDER                                   JAY PANZER, ASTC
Washington & Lee University, Art and Music Facility, Lexington, VA Palace Theatre, Columbus, OH
Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA                         Columbus Lincoln Children's Theatre, Columbus, OH
African American Cultural Center, Pittsburgh, PA
                                                                   SCHULER SHOOK
CDAI                                                               Stages St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Nova Southeastern University Performing and Visual Arts            Paramount Theatre, Charlottesville, VA
Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL                                        Jackie Gleason Theatre, Miami, FL
Nashville Arts Magnet School, Nashville, TN
Greeneville H.S. Performance Hall, Greeneville, TN                 THEATRE CONSULTANTS COLLABORATIVE
                                                                   Historic Asolo Theatre, Sarasota, FL
DAVIS CROSSFIELD ASSOCIATES                                        Michael D. Palm Theatre, Telluride, CO
Performing Arts Center, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Marion D. Campbell Performing Arts Center, The Groton
The Two River Theatre Company, Red Bank, New Jersey                School, Groton, MA
Prince William Performing Arts Center, Manassas, Virginia
                                                                   THEATRE PROJECTS CONSULTANTS
FISHER DACHS ASSOCIATES                                            Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, AZ
Venetian Casino Theatre, Las Vegas NV                              Center for Theatre and Dance, Williams College, Williamstown, MA
Siam Opera Theatre, Bangkok Thailand                               New World Symphony, Miami Beach, FL
RPI Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy NY
                                                                   TSG DESIGN SOLUTIONS
GEORGE THOMAS HOWARD, ASTC                                         Colony Theatre, Miami Beach, Florida.
New Buffalo High School Auditorium, Buffalo Wyoming                St. Andrews School, Boca Raton , Florida.
New 'K-12' School Auditorium, Kay Cee, Wyoming                     Broward Community College, Hollywood, Florida.
South Anchorage High School Auditorium, Anchorage, Alaska
                                                                   WRIGHTSON, JOHNSON, HADDON & WILLIAMS
JONES & PHILLIPS                                                   Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts,
News-Journal Center, Daytona Beach, Florida                        Houston, TX
Red Skelton Performing Arts Center, Vincennes, Indiana             Gaylord National Resort, Prince George's County, MD
S.E. Belcher Jr. Chapel and Performance Center, Longview, Texas Majestic Theater Restoration, Gettysburg, PA

(FLOORS—Continued from page 3)                                                                        the ASTC letter
anti-humidity measures to ensure ade-             In conclusion, it appears that, just          is published annually by the
quate traction and longevity.                like so many other aspects of theatre             American Society of Theatre
     Several respondents bemoaned the        design, there is no one answer to the                      Consultants
size & geometric inconsistencies of          question of which stage floor is “right”
“Plyron” (hardboard laminated to             for each venue. However, with careful                  Robert Shook, Editor
plywood) and detailed the tendency of        consideration of the available products on
hardboard to “go wild.” They suggest the     the market and the design factors identi-            12226 Mentz Hill Road
pre-drilling and countersinking of dry-      fied herein, stage flooring that ably meets         St. Louis, Missouri 63128
wall screws as well as the avoidance of      the performance criteria of the facility      Ph: 314 843-9218 Fax: 314 843-4955
expansion joints between sheets. Fur-        can be selected.
thermore, they indicated that the sanding                                                  To learn more about the ASTC, visit our
of the sheets prior to painting diminishes       Edward Kaye, ASTC                                        website:
the ability of the floor to hold its color                                             
under spike tape and the like.
4                                                                                                                  ASTC Fall 2004

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