2015 Architecture Commission Meeting Minutes

Sep 29, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015, Berlin, Germany

Download Complete Meeting Minutes 

[1.0]      ATTENDANCE
The following were present:  Tim Foster (chair),  Laura van Haperen, Louis Janssen (president), Ivo Kersmaekers , Wan-Jung Wei , Greg Cook , Mark White, Juan Ruesga, José Luis Ferrera, Lian The, Mhora Samuel , Anne Minors , Torsten Nobling , Martien van Goor , Idan Braslavi, David Braslavi, Randy Earle, David Grindle , Markéta Fantová.

The AC last met at the ʻWood, Canvas & Rabbit Glueʼ conference in Antwerp in June 2014

[3.1]     TF reported on the completion of the 9th TAC, which was being exhibited at Stage Set Scenery in Berlin. There were 197 entries received from 37 different countries and the top 25 entries were being exhibited. A digital catalogue had been prepared and was now available to download from the OISTAT website. It had been decided not to print a catalogue due to the cost of printing and distribution. TF particularly thanked the DTHG for their generous financial support and organisation of the exhibit, Reinhold Daberto for his organisation of the jury meeting and the catalogue and to his assistant, Christine Rieken, without whom none of this would have been possible. Special thanks were also due to the staff at OISTAT headquarters in Taiwan, who managed the considerable task of processing questions, receiving the entries and ensuring entrance fees were safely received.

[3.2]       TF was particularly pleased that the winning entry was a collaboration between two young architects and a playwright/producer from Canada. This was the first collaboration of this kind he was aware of, although the brief had encouraged this approach for the last few competitions.

[3.3]      TF said the financial arrangements between OISTAT and the DTHG remained to be finalised but the competition had not exceeded its budget.

[4.1]      The competition has always been organized on a four year cycle to coincide with The Prague Quadrennial, although this year it had been decided to hold the exhibition at Stage Set Scenery instead of PQ. This was because of the generous financial and administrative support offered by the DTHG and also because theatre architecture no longer has the profile it once had at PQ.

[4.2]      It is proposed that in future the date should be moved to allow the exhibit to take place at World Stage Design, which is an OISTAT event. This would mean the next competition would be exhibited at World Stage Design in Taiwan in 2017. It was generally agreed this was desirable although TF said to organize another competition in 2 years would be quite demanding. He would wish someone else to take care of the administrative burden and suggested a steering committee should be set up in Taiwan to start the task of finding a site and developing a brief. It was suggested the opportunity should be taken to make the competition less Euro-centric and to embrace Asian art forms.

[4.3]      LJ said he was having a meeting at OISTAT HQ in Taiwan on 25 July and asked TF to send a preliminary budget and timeline for him to take to this meeting.

Proposals for 2016 meeting in Seville, Spain

[5.1]      José Luis Ferrera and Juan Ruesga gave a short presentation on the meeting they are planning in Seville in October 2016. These had already been submitted to the chair of AC and accepted in principle. The plan was for two days of meetings and two days of tours, including a day trip to the Roman amphitheatre at Almeria. The meetings would be on the Thursday/Friday and the tours on Saturday/Sunday.

[5.2]      LJ thought a 4 day meeting may be too long for some delegates, who will need to return to their work on the Monday. The programme should allow delegates to leave on Sunday afternoon/evening. He suggested the Almeria trip might happen on the Monday as an option for those able to stay longer. TF said he had already suggested that one day of meetings might be sufficient but he understood that 2 days was necessary to attract state funding. JLF and JR agreed to revisit the programme to see what could be achieved. TF suggested that a visit to the Seville bull ring might be of interest.

[5.3]      TF asked that provision should be made in the programme for an AC Business meeting and an opportunity for AC members to present recent work. LJ said it may be possible to also hold a meeting of the OISTAT EC. JLF and JR said they would welcome this as it would help them to attract funding.

[5.4]      TF emphasized that this was a self-funded meeting and delegates would be responsible for their own travel and hotel costs, although the organisers may wish to provide a reception or dinner for delegates. It is often possible to obtain sponsorship for this.

[5.5]      JLF and JR were asked to finalise details and then to issue an official invitation to OISTAT HQ. TF said that if details can be circulated to all AC delegates and supporters in good time there is more likely to be good attendance.

Proposals for meeting in Chicago

 [5.6]       Greg Cook and Randy Earle (USITT) spoke about their hopes to organize an AC meeting in Chicago. Not only is Chicago a city with world class architecture but also has many interesting historic and new theatres to visit. Randy Earle said he hoped to arrange an event in conjunction with The League of Historic American Theatres, who may be able to hold their convention in Chicago.

[5.7]      It was agreed the best date for this meeting would be June 2018. The 2016 meeting will be in Spain and the 2017 meeting will be in Taiwan as part of World Stage Design. GC and RE said this would give them time to make arrangements. It was suggested that a formal proposal should be issued by Summer of 2016.

USITT Conference 2016

[5.8]      David Grindle and Marketa Fantova said that although not an official AC Meeting, AC members would be very welcome at the next USITT Conference in Salt Lake City in March 2016. The city had some interesting new theatre architecture, as well as the Mormon Tabernacle and a 21,000 seat church. DG also reminded AC members that the USITT Architecture Awards were open to theatre projects worldwide and encouraged them to submit projects. TF confirmed this was the only architectural awards system purely for theatres that he was aware of. 

[6.1]      Reinhold Daberto circulated details of the theatre tour on 11 June. This will include visits to:

[7.1]      Martien van Goor showed his recent work on the Schouwburg Kunstmin in Dordrecht

[7.2]      Torsten Nobling showed his recent work on the Stavanger Konserthus


[8.1]      Mhora Samuel, Director of The Theatres Trust in the UK, gave a brief introduction to the work of The Trust, which is the national body for the protection of theatres in the UK. The Trust has a a statutory role in the review of any planning applications involving theatres, as well as providing advice on a wide range of matters relating to theatre design, historic buildings and policy and organizing an annual conference.

The Theatres Trust is also a participant in The Route of Historic Theatres project, which organizes tours to historic theatres across Europe.

[9.1]      Tim Foster thanked everyone for attending and looked forward to seeing them in Seville in 2016.