The Association of British Theatre Technicians produced its first guide to
the design and planning of theatres in 1972. Revised in 1986, it became the
standard reference work for anyone involved in building, refurbishing, or
creating a performance space. Theatre Buildings – a design guide is
Written and illustrated by a highly experienced team of international
theatre designers and practitioners, it retains the practical approach of the
original while extending the scope to take account of the development of new
technologies, new forms of presentation, changing expectations, and the
economic and social pressures which require every part of the theatre to be as
productive as possible.
The book takes the reader through the whole process of planning and
designing a theatre. It looks in detail at each area of the building: front of
house, auditorium, backstage, and administrative offices. It gives specific
guidance on sightlines, acoustics, stage engineering, lighting, sound and
video, auditorium and stage formats. Aspects such as catering, conference and
education use are also covered.
The information is supplemented by twenty-eight case studies, selected to
provide examples which range in size, style and format and to cover new
buildings, renovations, conversions, temporary and found space. The studies
include Den Norsk, Oslo; The Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis; The Liceu,
Barcelona; Les Bouffes du Nord, Paris; The RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford
on Avon; and the MTC Theatre in Melbourne. All have plans and sections drawn to
The book contains around 100 high quality full colour images as well as over
60 specially drawn charts and diagrams explaining formats, relationships and
A new and exciting ABTT Publication available direct from the ABTT now.
The Contributors to the book are:
Tim Foster is the senior partner in Foster Wilson Architects. He is
chairman of the ABTT Theatre Planning Committee and represents the UK
on the OISTAT Architecture Commission. He is a board member of the
Tricycle Theatre Company in London and a trustee of The Theatres Trust..
Andy Hayles is Managing Director of Charcoalblue Ltd, a multi-disciplinary
theatre consultancy. He is a visiting lecturer to Cambridge University,
Canterbury University, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, LIPA and RADA.
He is a full member of the Society for Theatre Consultants, a member of the
Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings and previously a Council Member of the ABTT.
Peter Longman is now a Consultant to and Board member of various arts
bodies, and has been involved with theatre buildings for most of his career. He
ran the Arts Council's grant scheme for arts buildings from 1969-78, and was
the Government's chief adviser on museums from 1984-95.
Anne Minors is director of AMPC Ltd. She is past-Chairman of the Society of
Theatre Consultants; member of the Association of Lighting Designers; previously a Council
Member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians as well as a corporate
member of the RIBA and an assessor for Arts Council England and Arts Council of
Wales and Arts Council of Scotland.
Mark White is Director of Electronic Theatre Controls Ltd. and has been
Chairman of the ABTT from 2002 until the present.
Judith Strong is the Director of aap consulting (formerly Arts &
Architecture Projects). She is currently an Enabler for CABE; Chair of the Arts
Advisory Committee for the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames; a board
member of Action for Children’s Arts; board and building committee member for
the Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond; and a member of The Architecture Club.