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2011 8th OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition

11/08/2010 by architectural competitions

The OISTAT Theatre Architecture Competition (TAC) is an international ideas competition, aimed at students and emerging practitioners, which is organised every four years by the Architecture Commission of OISTAT (International Organisation of Scenographers, Technicians and Theatre Architects). For more information on the activities of OISTAT please

We are pleased to announce the launch of the next TAC, to be completed in 2011. Selected entries of TAC are exhibited and cash prizes awarded at the Prague Quadrennial (PQ) the major international exhibition of scenography and theatre architecture, which takes place every 4 years in Prague in the Czech Republic. The next PQ is due to take place in June 2011. It is considered by many to be the most important theatre design event in the world.For more information please see:

Competition Theme for TAC 2011

Most spaces for the performing arts (drama, music theatre, dance, concerts and other forms) are housed in specialized buildings, built for the purpose.

While there will always be a need for these buildings, there is increasing interest amongst theatre practitioners in the use of existing buildings and settings, which are not purpose built theatres, to present productions. These settings, sometimes known as ‘found space’, can often provide a unique atmosphere, which resonates with a particular production or style of presentation, in a way that may not be possible in a conventional theatre. While these spaces may lack the technical infrastructure and facilities of a theatre, they can make up for this through the atmosphere provided by the special character of the place, its interaction with the performance and the opportunity to explore less conventional forms of presentation. Many new theatres are also created by converting existing buildings, where the character of the original building contributes significantly to the special atmosphere, and provides a sense of continuity with the past.

These are the basic themes to be explored in this competition.

Provocation by Professor Dorita Hannah, Architecture Commissioner for PQ 2011

“The auditorium is often considered a static object designed to contain performance. But performance cannot be contained… it exceeds architecture, especially in this age of media spectacles, fluid technologies and uncontainable bodies. So what role does the auditorium now play other than forcing us to perform as well-behaved spectators? If we acknowledge that architecture itself performs, as space-in-action, then perhaps we can explore new strategies for experiencing live performance as a more dynamic, creative and communal spatial event.”

The Brief / Overview

Competitors are asked to design a theatre space for a particular type of performance, which must be defined by the competitor. This may be a conventional performance or something more experimental, using a range of media and technologies.

In this way it is hoped to encourage a deeper understanding of the relationship between the performance itself and the space, which it inhabits.

The aim is to create a space, which supports the chosen type of performance in the best possible way. It should explore how a performance space could be designed to reflect the cultural ethos of the 21st century and whether performances in our time arebest housed in purpose designed theatres or can take advantage of more open, flexible settings, to meet the needs of artists and respond to an increasingly global information culture.

In particular, competitors should attempt to answer the question on why people continue to choose to visit live performances, despite the overwhelming amount of digital entertainment now available to them. Central to this is the sense of community provided by a shared experience.

In this way the TAC will underpin the central theme of PQ´s Theatre Architecture Exhibition, exploring the question –

“Now / Next – Performance Space at the Crossroads”

For more information please see:

Key Dates for the Competition:

1 July 2010: Official start of the competition

1 October 2010: Final date for questions.

11 March 2011: Closing date for despatch of entries and payment

25 March 2011: Latest date for receipt of entries

30 March – 13 April 2011: Jury meeting and report

16 April 2011: Notification of the prize-winners

16-26 June 2011: Exhibition of prize-winning and selected entries
at the Prague Quadrennial.

17 June 2011: Official announcement and prize-giving


  1. Chris Christopoulos says:

    I am interesting to participate.i would like to know more details about the competition.

  2. Catherine Cepeda says:

    How many members in a team can be allowed to participate in the competition?

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