theatre is often a collection of boring spaces that
support the main theatre program, but by flipping
this relationship, a sensory theatre becomes a
collection of spatial effects based on the programs
happening inside the spaces.
By combining this approach with a site that can only grow vertically, this project also investigates how the traditional horizontal vernacular of cinema buildings can be adapted to a dense urban environment.
The effects generated for the sensory theatre
are directly related and engage the user through
the interaction of light which responds to movement,
and sound generated in the spaces. The generation of these effects was driven by both
precedent studies and analytical diagramswhich mapped out a “typical” theater and thevarious forces affecting it.
These ideas culminated in a prototypical
adaptive re-use investigation that proposed anurban cinema in Austin’s prominent downtown
music district. Within, the “effect” application isseparated into three conditions: wall, floor/ceiling,and solid/void.
“The result was a vertical cinema that
challenges the typical conventions of a
By utilizing an existing building for this exploration,
there was an inherent challenge to makeeverything fit. Without detailed drawings of
the existing structure, assumptions had to bemade, but close estimates, even down to structural
elements were still made. This allowed thedifferent modular programs to simply stack on
top of each other and be connected throughvarious paths. The result was a vertical cinema
that challenges the typical conventions ofa suburban theater that is laid out horizontally.
The project’s focus on exploring the interstitialand supportive spaces of a theatre allow
users to be immersed in a dynamic experiencebefore they even start watching the
movie. Furthermore, these spaces also investigatethe possibility of adaptive programs
and spaces available to the public outsidethe operational hours of a cinema, such as a
ground level and rooftop amphitheater thatcan host cultural events and art installations.