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5 Key Questions when Hiring a Performance Space Architect

When it comes to designing performance spaces like theatres, auditoriums, or concert halls, you need an expert at your side. BLDD Architects has more than 90 years of experience in helping educators, churches, and communities bring the stage to life for audiences, big and small.

If you’re ready to take the first steps toward opening night, here are 5 key questions to ask your potential architecture team to help separate the “real” performers from the actors:

1. What’s the best shape for our performance space?



The shape of the room determines the experience of the user. It’s all about finding the perfect balance of intimacy and acoustics.

2. Who has a role in the design team ‘‘cast of characters?’’

In addition to the architect, the design team should include a theatre consultant, an acoustical consultant, and a mechanical engineer who all work together to help you create a performance space that meets your needs and creates a dynamic experience for your audience and your performers.

3. Is there a ‘‘sweet spot’’ between the number of seats and the number of balconies?

Yes, there is! About 2/3 of the audience should be on the main level and the remaining 1/3 should be in the balcony. All while keeping the back seat 80 feet from the stage. Sounds easy, right?


4. We need one space for a lot of different events and activities. Will a big facility be the most flexible option?

That’s a tricky question that depends on your specific needs. You might be surprised to know sometimes two smaller venues can provide more flexibility than one big one — especially when construction costs can be similar.

5. What is your knowledge of performance space functionality?

If you want a design that fits, you need to bring on a designer who knows the functionality required like the back of their hand to design what you need.

Meet the Expert

One of our resident "big vision" leaders, Carson Durham, AIA, has been with BLDD for more than 25 years. As a principal and leader in future-focused, flexible auditorium design, Carson has a true passion for innovative spaces that uniquely address his clients’ needs. His one-of-a-kind style and sense of innovation come through clearly in every project he is part of.

BLDD Architects is no stranger to putting our clients on center stage. From auditoriums to band, choir, and art rooms, we know that fine arts education is integral to the development of well-rounded students. Over the past 10 years with 100+ education clients, 70+ Ed. Performance Spaces, 2,000+ Yearly Productions, and 50,000+ seats to fill we’ve produced performance-art spaces worthy of a standing ovation.


‘‘Our design approach is to create performance spacesthat are inspiring and welcoming for students of all ages. The spaces should be flexible, functional, and imaginative for the aspiring professional performer as well as the beginners.’’

Carson Durham, AIA, BLDD Principal

Ready to shine the spotlight on your performing arts program? Chat with Carson and our team of auditorium experts to learn more.

Contact Us Today!



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