LITERATURE STUDY & DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
SUBMITTED TO :-
AR. SANJEEV MAHESHWARI
AR. KHAN AMADUR RAHMAN
AR. MANISH SAHAI
An auditorium is a room built to enable an audience to hear
and watch performances at venues such as theatres. For movie
theatres, the number of auditoriums is expressed as the
number of screens.
It is a multi use performance space that is intended for various
performing arts like dance, drama, music, opera, theatre, magic
shows etc. It may include theatre, auditorium.
THEATRES AND ITS TYPES
It is the most common form of theatre stages. In this particular
stage, the audience is positioned in one area facing towards the
main stage, there is a distinct division between the audience
and the stage. This division is created through the form of an
arch or some sort of frame- hence the name, Proscenium Arch.
• Gives the audience a clear view and the one main focus
points towards the performers.
• Allows much more realism and special effects/ lighting-
tricks and effects can easily be concealed.
• A stage surrounded by audience on three sides, the fourth side serves as the
• Typical modern arrangement: the stage is often a square or rectangular
playing area, usually raised, surrounded by raked seating.
• A central stage surrounded by audience on all sides.
• The stage area is often raised to improve sightlines.
• Sometimes called a "black box" theatre, these are often big empty boxes
painted black inside.
• Stage and seating not fixed.
• Instead, each can be altered to suit the needs of the play or the whim of the
TERMS USED IN AUDITORIUM
PROSCENIUM: A proscenium is the area of a theatre surrounding the stage opening. A proscenium arch is
the arch over this area. A proscenium plane divides the performer and spectators.
HOUSE: It is the main seating area.
GANGWAYS: A passage between two rows of seats. The minimum gangway should be 1100 mm.
AISLE: The walkway between each area, row of seats to permit ease of passage. (>=45 mm)
DROP STAGE: A stage floor that moves vertically on an elevator usually so that one set can quickly replace
TORMENTOR: A curtain or framed structure used directly behind the proscenium at each side of the stage
to screen the wings & sidelights from the audience.
APRON: The part of the stage floor in front of curtain line.
ORCHESTRA PIT: The space reserved for musicians usually in front.
BALCONY: A gallery that projects over the main floor of a theatre.
WING: The platform adjacent to the stage for keeping props.
BOX OFFICE: Where tickets are sold.
CYCLORAMA: It is the exterior of the backdrop. It is basically a distinction between backstage & main stage.
FIRE CURTAIN: A curtain or asbestos or other fire-proof material that can be lowered just inside the
proscenium arch in case of fire.
GREEN ROOM: The green room is the space in a theatre, studio or similar venue which functions as a
waiting room and lounge for performers before and after a performance, and during the show when they
are not engaged on stage. Source: Wikipedia
Stage lighting: Provision of orientation the light in requisite position and angle plus providing enough working
space to bring any changes & repairs. This can be done by the means of catwalk , bridges.
Light controls: Ideally should be in front of house, preferably under the balcony or at the back of the stalks in an
Acoustics: The acoustics of a theatre effect performances. The element which effect the sound are: ceiling, wall,
panels, at rear of the seating space.
The phenomenon of reverberation time & long delayed reflection together give good quality of sound.
The reverberation time should be 0.8 to 2.4 sec.
Wall should be non parallel so that reflection of sound is avoided.
Exits & escape routes: 1 m wide exit door should be provided for every 150 people.
Parking: The whole parking can be divided into 4 zones.
Parking space must be ample for all patrons.
Car turning radius for an entrance drive > 5- 6.5m
Car parking for handicapped should be near the building & clearly marked.
Circulation: Public traffic flow should be designed so that the movement of patrons through out lobby is straight
forward. Elevators should be provided to get patrons to the upper levels and persons with disability to all levels.
In theatre or performance arts, the stage is a
designated space for the performance of
productions. The stage serves as a space for
actors or performers and a focal point (the
screen in cinema theaters) for the members of
PROSCENIUM STAGE WITH FLY TOWER
The dimensions and shape of the performance area
are determined by the recommended proscenium
opening as in Table III. A wider opening can be reduced
by screens or curtains, so that an all purpose stage
should be sized for opera. Ideally, the depth of the
performance area front to rear should be equal to the
The height of the stage can be between 600 mm and 1100
mm with a straight, angled or curved front edge. The floor
to the performance area, in part or total, may be a series
of traps, that is modular sections usually 1200mm square
which can be removed
SIDE AND REAR STAGES
Sizes should relate to the size of the performance area.
These areas may need to hold sets as on the performance
area, with circulation all round. The clear height required
to be the highest scenery plus
In the case of fire on the stage it must be separated from
the auditorium, with the proscenium opening being closed
off by a safety curtain. The normal form is a rigid curtain
suspended immediately behind the proscenium opening
and dropping on the stage from the fly tower. The fire seal
must continue below stage level.
Seating capacity: In general, the maximum capacity of an auditorium
depends on the format selected, and on aural and visual limitations
set by the type of production. Other factors include levels, sightlines,
acoustics, circulation and seating density, as well as size and shape of
Size of auditorium: An area of at least 0.5 sq. m. per spectator is to be
used for sitting spectators. This number is derived from a seat width x
row spacing of at least 0.45 sq. m per seat, plus an additional
minimum of 0.5m - 0.9m i.e. approximately 0.05 sq. m per seat.
Length of rows: A maximum of 16 seats per aisle. 25 seats per aisle is
permissible if one side exit door of 1m width is provided per 3-4 rows.
Exits, escape routes: 1m wide per 150 people (minimum width 0.8m).
ELEVATION OF SEATS
LINE OF SIGHT METHOD
A sightline, sight line or visual axis, is a normally unobstructed line
of sight between an intended observer (or spectator) and a stage,
arena, or monument, for example. Sightlines are a particularly
important consideration in theatres and auditoriums.
The vertical distance from a spectator's eyes to sightline of the
spectator directly behind is called a C-value. Higher the seats lower
D = the horizontal distance from the eye to the point of focus
N = the riser height
R = the vertical height to the point of focus
T = the seating row depth
REGULAR RISE METHOD
In regular rise method each tier of the hall has equal rise. Seats are
elevated at equal risers.
• 1m of space behind the projector & at the
operating side, 2.80 m high, ventilation, noise
insulation to the auditorium side.
• Film widths of 16mm, 35mm, & 70mm.
• The centre of the projected beam should not
deviate more than 5° horizontally.
• Picture sizes depend on the distance of the
projector from the screen, height/side ratio is
1:2:34 (cinemascope) or 1:1:66 (wide screen).
• Min. Distance of projection screen from
wall is 120 cm.
• It is perforated (sound permeable).
• Large projection screens are curved.
• The auditorium should have no outside
light other than emergency lighting.
• Walls and ceilings are made from
PROPORTIONS OF AUDITORIUM
These are obtained from the spectator’s psychological
perception and viewing angle, as well as the requirement for
a good view from all seats. Head movement should be
according to following:
• 30° → no movement
• 60° → slight movement
• 110° → slight eye & slight shoulder movement
• 360° → full movement
At a depth of 24m of house → proscenium width – 13m
At a depth of 32m of house → proscenium width – 17m
N.B.C. OF INDIA
Trees with heavy foliage planted on both sides of carriageway help slightly to muffle the noise, provided the
foliage extends for a considerable distance (30 m or above).
Noisy rooms should be separated from quiet ones, if possible.
FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY
All buildings depending upon the occupancy use and height shall be protected by fire extinguishers, wet
riser, down-comer, automatic sprinkler installation in accordance with the provisions of NBC.
Automatic fire detection and alarm facilities shall be provided, where necessity, to warn occupants early of
the existence of fire, so that they may escape, and to facilitate the orderly conduct of fire exit drills.
Fire doors with 2 h fire resistance shall be provided at appropriate places along the escape route and
particularly at the entrance to lift lobby and stair well.
Internal stairs shall be constructed of non combustible materials throughout.
Area required: The floor area of the hall including, gangways (excluding the stage ) should be calculated on the basis of 0.6
to 0.9 sq. m per person.
Height and volume: The average height may vary from 6 m for small halls to 7.5 m for large halls. The volume per person
required to be provided should normally range between 3.5 to 5.5 m. Suitable volumes for different types of auditoriums are
Cubic metres per person
A) PUBLIC LECTURE HALLS. 3.5 to 4.5
B) CINEMAS OR THEATRES 4.0 to 5.0
C) MUSICAL HALLS OR CONCERT HALLS 4.0 to 5.5
Max. Distance from the curtain wall: In the case of theatres a person with normal vision should be able to discern facial
expressions of the performers. In order to satisfy these condition, the distance of the ‘farthest seat from the curtain line
should not normally exceed 23 m.
Stage: The size of the stage depends upon the type of performance the hall is to cater for. It would be large for theatres,
while it would be comparatively small for cinema halls which again depends on the size of the screen.
Balcony: Where a balcony is provided, its projection into the hall should not be more than twice the free height of the
opening of the balcony recess.
Doors and windows: The external noise level is high, properly fitted doors and windows should be provided. Their rebates
should preferably be lined with draught strip rubber or felt.
Line of sight: The elevation of the balcony seats should be such that line of sight is not inclined more than 30 degrees to
Angle of floor: As an empirical rule the angle of elevation of the inclined floor in an auditorium should not be less than 8
Foyers, crush halls, attached rooms: All the enclosed spaces, such as foyers, lounges, flanking verandas,
etc., adjacent to the auditorium showable be isolated from the main hall by suitable ( well fitting ) doors so
that the acoustics of the hall are not influenced by these rooms;
• The foyer area, depend on the size and seating capacity of the auditorium. At least 20% of the seating
area of the hall 1s recommended for foyer.
• For lobby and lounge, areas at least corresponding to 10 % of the seating area in the hall are
• The distance of the front row works to about 3.6 m for drama and it should be 4.5 m or more for
• The width of a seat should be between 45 cm and 56 cm.
• The back to back distance of chairs in successive rows of seats shall be at least 85 cm. If extra comfort
is required, higher spacing may be provided which shall vary between 85 cm and 106 cm.
• Seats should be staggered sideways in relation to those in front so that a listener in any row is not
looking directly over the head of the person in front of him.
Sound amplification system: a loudness of speech level of about 60 to 70 db. is required for comfortable
listening. For this level can be obtained, the volume does not exceed 1400 cubic m and the max. distance from
the speaker to listener is of the order of 23 m.