PROSCENIUM

This is a new design for the threshold of the Repertory Theatre on South Tay Street, Dundee. The building is well known locally and was recently shortlisted for the top building award in Scotland. My aim was to create a contemporary entrance design that will give this unique building a new lease of life whilst being sensitive to the existing architecture. It is designed in such a way as to allow the theatregoer to pass from reality into another world. I have done this by focusing mostly on the semantic aspects of the design.

I researched the shapes involved with the Russian constructivist style of the building. I also examined the different aspects of what makes a theatre a theatre. This lead me to consider the use of curtains and spotlights for my theme. Various sketch model experiments then lead me on to using origami as a useful technique to represent the curtained entrance way. Origamic architecture is very contemporary and the angular shapes harmonise successfully with the style and design of the building.

For the materials I used a matte black rubber floor and brushed dark steel for the origami-style wall panels. The length of the passageway is illuminated by warm white LEDs from behind the curtained walls such as those you would find round a dressing room mirror. The dark colours add a sense of mystery with the lights and reflective surfaces adding a touch of glamour. There is the smoke and mirror affiliation commonly associated with illusions seen on the stage. Not only would the theatregoer feel illustrious upon entering the building but also feel that sense of excitement about what they were going to see. This threshold itself takes you on a journey through time and space where another magical realm awaits.

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