Suanny Dugarte's interest in interior design arose from her interest in film and theatre. She came to view interiors as more than just a volumetric space, but rather as a means of provoking human interaction. She would like to merge her passion for film and theatre with commercial design work.
Theatre is a medium used for a variety of purposes such as for education, self expression, and storytelling. In addition, it provides an environment that allows for interconnected experiences between individuals from different backgrounds with similar interests. Trends in theatre spaces have evolved from single use facilities to multifunctional venues. The inclusion of open gathering areas, smaller production spaces, and retail functions allow for more user dynamics in the building. These design features enables people to utilize the space outside of performance. It provides options of usage that can fit a wide range of individuals.
Rationale and Design Narrative
The concept for the new community theatre is framing. It is the small components that come together and shape the overall experience of the design. The subtle details throughout the design are inspired by theatrical elements. The black steel details mimic the technical aspects of theatre such as the overhead rigging on stages. The wood design accents as well as the integrated arches of the spaces are inspired by traditional proscenium theatre arches. All the spaces mesh with one another, with minor design differences to indicate the change of area. As the sets in plays and musicals change and shift to accommodate the narrative, so do the different rooms of the building change and shift to accommodate the purpose of the space. The design incorporates elegant and comfortable elements allowing for individuals to feel relaxed, yet chic.
Design Connection to Research
A new community theatre at Lake Shore benefits the residential community. Likewise, it provides space for the students of Humber College Lakeshore Campus to utilize. Black box theatres allow for different configurations and functions to be performed year-round. This offers opportunities for smaller scale productions to be performed frequently and consistently. Adding main public areas such as the café and jazz lounge area enables the building to be utilized regularly by the surrounding community and the college students, providing steady revenue outside of performance schedules for the building. Community theatres are also a hub for creative independent thinking, for local performers and artists to showcase their work. The design of the building utilizes a neutral colour palette, spacious areas, and natural lighting for a comfortable interior for its users. Easy access to all areas for all is key in building an equitable experience for the occupants.
Character of Space
The feeling of the space is casual yet elegant. The socializing spaces such as the lobby areas, café, and jazz lounge, were designed with comfort of the occupants in mind. The spaces accommodate several seating configurations with movable furniture to be adjusted by its users, which encourages creative configurations of the public areas for the creatives who use them. Spacious corridors and splashes of colour give a youthful touch to these spaces. Clean lines and prominent design elements, like the wood and metal features, elevate and provide volume to the areas. These design features reflect elements of theatre spaces creating a doubling sensation of a theatre within a theatre. The incorporation of plants and the amount of natural light the interior receives provide comfort and sophistication to the building.
When considering how the space would be divided, areas were separated into two spaces: public and private. The public areas, or front of house areas, are the areas that the public has access to during operating hours. These areas would be open even when no performances are taking place. Front of house areas include the lobby areas, the jazz lounge, the café and bistro area, and the theatre spaces when a performance is ongoing. These areas allow for small gatherings or casual socializing. The private areas, or back of house areas, are the rooms that the public does not need access to. These areas would require authorization to get into. Back of house areas include the backstage areas (storage rooms, workshop area, dressing rooms, green room, and rehearsal studio) and the administrative offices. These areas allow for privacy and security for performers, crew, and administrative individuals.