OISTAT ARCHITECTURE COMMISSION / BUSINESS MEETING
MINUTES OF MEETING AT PRAGUE QUADRENNIAL ON 13 JUNE 2019
1.1 The following were present:
Martien van Goor
Cheung Man Lai
Jose Luis Ferrera
1.2 A paper was circulated to record those present and their contact details (see above), which will be added to the OISTAT circulation list for the Architecture Commission. Anyone wishing to be added to this list or to update their details can email OISTAT HQ with a request. If any addresses above are incorrect please inform Tim Foster.
2.0 PREVIOUS MINUTES
2.1 Minutes of the previous Business Meeting of the AC, held in Chicago, USA, on 10 October 2018 had been circulated in advance and were read out and agreed.
3.0 CHAIR’S REPORT
3.1 TF welcomed everyone to the meeting.
3.2 The last meeting of the AC in October 2018 was held in Chicago, USA, hosted by the USITT in conjunction with the American Society of Theatre Consultants. TF particularly thanked Greg Cook for organising the meeting and the USITT for their support. Each day started with some fascinating talks about the development of Chicago architecture and 7 very different theatres were visited in the Chicago area. The meeting also coincided with ‘Chicago Open House’ allowing us access to some of Chicago’s rich architectural Heritage.
Greg Cook said he had found the process of organising the meeting quite challenging and he had written some notes about the process, which he hoped would provide guidance to others who were organising meetings. TF agreed to circulate these with the minutes of this meeting.
3.3 TF reported that prior to the Chicago meeting he had also attended a meeting of the OISTAT Governing Board and Executive Committee in Calgary in early October. This had provided an opportunity to view the site for World Stage Design 2021 at The University of Calgary. He had also started preliminary discussions with WSD and CITT organisers about the Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC) which will be held to coincide with WSD in 2021.
3.4 TF had also given a short report on AC activities at The OISTAT Forum earlier in the day. A copy of the text is attached after these minutes.
3.5 TF said that on the following day the Commission was setting off on a 3 day tour of Baroque theatres in The Czech Republic and Germany, finishing in Berlin to coincide with ‘Stage Set Scenery’. He was very grateful to former chair of the Commission Reinhold Daberto for organising the tour.
4 FUTURE MEETINGS
4.1 The Architecture Commission aims to meet at least once a year to provide an opportunity for anyone with an interest in theatre buildings to meet, to visit theatre buildings and to hold meetings and seminars with local practitioners. Forthcoming Meetings are being planned for:
Various options are under discussion which include:
• A joint meeting with the Timeline Group who are organising a meeting at Drottningholm on the theme of ‘Theatre by Candlelight’ in September 2020.
• Meeting in Amsterdam hosted by VPT in May
• Meeting in London hosted by ABTT in May/June
Everyone was asked to consult further and come back with their proposals. TF’s second term as chair will finish at the 2020 meeting.
(post meeting note: it has been agreed the meeting will be in Amsterdam – details tbc).
Calgary, Canada (August) to coincide with World Stage Design 2021. TF had attended a meeting of the OISTAT EC/GB in Calgary and had offered the possibility of organising some workshops and lectures at WSD. It is also intended that the next Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC) will take place in 2021 and be exhibited at WSD. The WSD team have been asked to start trying to find an architect partner to assist in finding a suitable site in Canada and writing a brief for the next TAC.
4.4 TF invited further ideas and proposals for meetings from 2022 onwards.
5 AC PARTICIPATION
5.1 At the previous meeting in Chicago Selma Goker Wilson had suggested members of the commission could produce online learning material on different subjects, similar to TED talks, which could then be made available via links on the OISTAT website. She had agreed to lead on this and had circulated some material based on courses she had taught at universities in Turkey and the US. There was a brief discussion. The idea was welcomed but it was felt it was perhaps too formally structured and that members of the AC could be asked to create talks based around their own work and expertise rather than specific topics. TF said he would ask SGW if she would like to pursue the idea on this basis.
TF said ideas to increase participation were welcomed and asked members and supporters to assist by raising the profile of the AC in their own countries. He emphasized that AC activities are open to anyone with an interest in theatre buildings.
6 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
6.1 Architecture at The Prague Quadrennial
As reported at the previous meeting in Taipei, there were no national architecture exhibits at PQ 2019. The only architectural content was the five minute films about theatre projects. Around 45 entries were received and a selection of prizewinners had been made. It was felt that the films came across as advertisements for the practices involved and the exhibit had little impact. TF regretted the demise of national architecture exhibits, which were usually easier to fund than individual exhibits, and felt that film alone was not a good way to present architecture, which needs models, drawings and photographs to fully explain it in an accessible way. He was disappointed at the ever-diminishing presence of architecture at PQ.
6.2 There was a view expressed that theatre architecture should be given more prominence at World Stage Design, where it could be seen alongside the TAC exhibit. TF said he would discuss with the organisers of WSD2021 in Calgary.
7.1 It is customary for members of the Architecture Commission to share and discuss recent work at the meeting. Unfortunately the limited time slot for the meeting did no allow for this. Members who were going on the tour hoped to share some projects then.
Chair of OISTAT Architecture Commission
OISTAT ARCHITECTURE COMMISSION REPORT 2019
DELIVERED BY TIM FOSTER AT THE OISTAT FORUM IN PRAGUE ON 13 JUNE 2019
I will start with the Architecture Commission’s Mission Statement:
“The OISTAT Architecture Commission (AC) exists to facilitate communication and understanding about theatre buildings amongst architects, consultants, technicians and artists worldwide. Through communication about common interests, the commission provides forums for professional growth, develops projects and collects and disseminates information. It meets in order to exchange knowledge about theatre architecture and related technical topics. The commission welcomes participation by anyone with an interest in theatre buildings”.
One of the principal activities of the AC every 4 years is the organisation of the OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC), which is aimed at architectural students and young practitioners, to encourage them to develop an understanding of the design elements which make a successful theatre. The competition used to be arranged to coincide with PQ but has now been moved to a new cycle to coincide with World Stage Design. The 10th Theatre Architecture Competition took place in 2017 and was exhibited at WSD in Taipei. The next competition will be held in 2021 and will be exhibited at WSD in Calgary. In recent years the site for the competition has been chosen in the country where the
exhibition is taking place to encourage local participation (Germany and Taiwan). The competition is judged by a distinguished international jury of architects and theatre people and significant cash prizes are awarded to the winners at World Stage Design. A catalogue is prepared which documents the competition entries. Preparations are already underway for the next competition in Canada.
Next to our meetings.
The AC aims to meet once a year and increasingly the meeting is combined with a tour of local theatres.
Recent meetings have included:
In 2016 we met in Seville, where we took part in an international conference organised by OISTAT España and visited local theatres and the famous bullring.
In 2017 we met at WSD in Taipei, where the last competition was exhibited and we then made a 3 day tour of the major new arts centres which were either recently completed or approaching completion, as well as a beautiful traditional Chinese theatre.
In 2018 we met in Chicago, USA, hosted by the USITT in conjunction with the American Society of Theatre Consultants. We enjoyed some fascinating talks and visited 7 very different theatres in the Chicago area. The meeting also concided with ‘Chicago Open House’ allowing us access to some of Chicago’s rich architectural Heritage.
In 2019 we are meeting here in Prague to experience PQ and on Friday we are setting off on a 3 day tour of Baroque theatres in The Czech Republic and Germany, finishing in Berlin to coincide with ‘Stage Set Scenery’. We are very grateful to former chair of the Commission Reinhold Daberto for organising this.
As to future meetings, we have not yet decided where to meet in 2020 (Stockholm, Amsterdam or London under discussion) but in 2021 we will definitely be in Calgary at WSD 2021.
And finally, The Architecture Commission has an educational function. We seek to offer workshops and educational events wherever we meet and we are currently discussing the possibility of creating an online learning resource on theatre planning issues.
Thank you very much for listening. I encourage you to join us. Our activities are informative and fun.
Chair of OISTAT Architecture Commission
Download the Minutes in PDF