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OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition 2011March 11th, 2011

Most spaces for the performing arts (drama, music theatre, dance, concerts and other forms) are housed in specialized buildings, built for the purpose.

While there will always be a need for these buildings, there is increasing interest amongst theatre practitioners in the use of existing buildings and settings, which are not purpose built theatres, to present productions. These settings, sometimes known as ‘found space’, can often provide a unique atmosphere, which resonates with a particular production or style of presentation, in a way that may not be possible in a conventional theatre. While these spaces may lack the technical infrastructure and facilities of a theatre, they can make up for this through the atmosphere provided by the special character of the place, its interaction with the performance and the opportunity to explore less conventional forms of presentation. Many new theatres are also created by converting existing buildings, where the character of the original building contributes significantly to the special atmosphere, and provides a sense of continuity with the past.

Competitors are asked to design a theatre space for a particular type of performance, which must be defined by the competitor. This may be a conventional performance or something more experimental, using a range of media and technologies.

In this way it is hoped to encourage a deeper understanding of the relationship between the performance itself and the space, which it inhabits.

The aim is to create a space, which supports the chosen type of performance in the best possible way. It should explore how a performance space could be designed to reflect the cultural ethos of the 21st century and whether performances in our time are best housed in purpose designed theatres or can take advantage of more open, flexible settings, to meet the needs of artists and respond to an increasingly global information culture.

In particular, competitors should attempt to answer the question on why people continue to choose to visit live performances, despite the overwhelming amount of digital entertainment now available to them. Central to this is the sense of community provided by a shared experience.

March 11th, 2011

March 11th, 2011



The first prize will be €5,000, the second prize will be €2,500 and the third prize will be €1,000. There will be three additional prizes of €500 each. In addition to these prizes, there will be honorable mentions. The jury reserves the right to modify the distribution of prize money, within the same total amount and number of prizes.


The Architecture Commission of OISTAT (the International Organisation of Scenographers, Theatre Technicians and Theatre Architects) is promoting an international ideas competition in a single stage, open to architects and students of schools of architecture. Collaborations between architects and other theatre practitioners such as directors, designers, technicians, actors, dancers, musicians, or students in those fields, will be welcomed. Architects or students associated with members of the jury are not permitted to enter. Jury members will be announced on the OISTAT website before the official start of the competition.


Selected jury to be announced.