Beautiful and Unusual Performance Spaces


The architecture of a theatrical space can be intrinsic to the performance. And performance spaces have become more adaptable to contemporary art forms, inviting an emotional and interactive exchange between artist and audience. There is no one size fits all aesthetic when it comes to the bones of these spaces. Here are some of the more unique ways that designers are reinventing the concept of the theater.

German architect Peter Haimerl designed a subterranean space in a Bavarian Forest village that looks like a tilted stone structure to passersby, but hides a gorgeous “metaphorical catacombes” below ground.

Beijing’s 77 Theatre was transformed from an abandoned printing factory into a multipurpose indoor-outdoor performance space with retractable steel doors and an auditorium that blurs the lines between players and audience.

The living area in this Japanese house designed by NKS Architects, inhabited by a musician, was created to double as a performance space. The convex shapes of the ceiling improves acoustics

From Bustler: “The 300-seat Music Recital Hall offers a dynamic space for musical performance; the seamless extension of its surfaces surrounding the audience, with performers at its center.”

From CubeMe:

This project was born in 2006 when a Singaporean movie director and an ex musician from the south of China decided to open a live bar in Shanghai. The budget was very low but the client was incredibly good and open-minded to us. The schedule was very tight and fortunately they liked immediately one of the first concepts I proposed to them: a caved space formed from of a digital Boolean subtraction of hundreds of slices from an amorphic blob. The idea looks complex but actually is very simple and was born naturally from the digital 3D modelling environments where me and others enjoy playing with virtual volumes and spaces.

Architecture studio Adept created these wooden acoustic rooms in Copenhagen — the exhibition spaces of The Danish Music Museum. The simple aesthetic allows the string, brass, percussion, and mixed instruments shine. Veneer panels aid the acoustics and act as a visual accompaniment to the music.

This folded pavilion in Latvia from Didzis Jaunzems Architecture is meant to connect audiences with the surrounding environment. Space, light, video, and music combine to create awareness. The exterior of the structure allows for projections and light shows.

From Dwell: “Cho designed the Camerata Music Space and Gallery for the Heyri Art Valley in 2004. Essentially a concrete box, the space contains a hanging structure of horizontally stacked wood, which is directly inspired from a technique used (albeit vertically) in Montanan grain silos.”

The Integral House was designed by Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe of the Toronto architectural firm Shim-Sutcliffe and is a private residence that contains a performance space. The house was originally commissioned by a mathematician. It took six years to build and cost $24 million.