Performance Space Concept Development
R.Frasier Elliott Hall - Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.Working with the acoustician¬ís criteria, FDA develops the geometric concepts for the Hall in sketch form, then in Autocad.Concepts are compared with well-known precedents, such as La Scala in Milan.FDA draws the Hall to verify seat count and sightlines.Room Geometry and sightlines are confirmed by developing a 3D model of the Hall.The 3D model gives the design team and the client an understanding of the the finished product.....The Final Result matches the 3D model.Prudential Hall - New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New JerseyFDA also studies the room in 2-dimensional sketches FDA and the Architect study alternate section ideas.The Architect, Theater Consultant and Acoustician collaborate closelyFDA and the architects work together on developing a working building section.Final Result: View from the stage.Sarofim Hall - Hobby Center in Houston, TexasInitial sketches are drawn by hand...and are further developed.... until the geometry is finalized in Autocad. Final Result: View from the stageSecond Stage in New York, New YorkDuring the Concept Design, FDA sketches a plan for the new space that the architect can carry forward.A Longitudinal section is also developed.Final Result.McGuire Theater - Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.FDA sketches initlal concept ideathen prepares a 3D model.The Architect makes a physical model.Plans sketches are drawn with more detail.Final Result: View from the stage

Room Design

The central design challenge in any building used for opera, drama, dance or music is, of course, the performance space itself. Carefully considering the form, scale, dimensions, and geometry of every performance space we work on is one of FDA's central tasks and most important contributions.

At the outset of a project, FDA develops initial concepts for each performance space for the Owner and team to use as a starting point for discussion and development. Usually these concept designs take the form of sketches or CAD drawings, and physical or computer-based 3-D models that help the Owner and designers understand the sizes and volumes required and begin to visualize the performance spaces.


While each art form and every project has its own special requirements, there are qualities that all successful spaces for live performance share. We strive to make performance spaces that:

For the Audience

-  Provide excellent views from all seats
-  Bring everyone as close the performers as possible
-  Help everyone to feel the full power of the performance vividly
-  Remind the audience that this is a live event, not a film, and that they and the performers share these moments
-  Help laughter, tears, and applause spread naturally through the house
-  Make the performers appear to be the largest and most important things in the room
-  Make the auditorium feel as small as possible
-  Eliminate distractions

For the Performer

-  Make them feel that they are being seen and heard splendidly
-  Make them feel as though the auditorium was designed around them
-  Make them feel that they can fill the auditorium with their voices and their presence
-  Make them feel as though they can reach out and touch the audience, or hold them in the palm of their hands
-  Help them feel embraced by the audience
-  Help them feel that the house is very small, and everyone is very close

FDA's most significant contribution to the design process is our ability to help an architect to translate these objectives into a built form. We help Owners and Architects design successful, powerful, inspiring performance spaces.